coke coca cola production line

Coca-Cola has announced plans for nearly 300 job cuts, with the closure of two major UK sites.

Under the plans, Coca Cola European Partners said it would shut its manufacturing site in Milton Keynes and its distribution centre in Northampton.

It plans to close the sites in 2019, with the loss of 288 jobs, it revealed today.

The company said the move was aimed at providing major improvement in productivity and efficiency and it had begun a consultation with those who jobs were affected.

CCEP said it would be transferring the production and warehousing facilities at the two sites to its operation elsewhere in the UK and that it expected to create 121 additional roles across its manufacturing and distribution networks.

It hoped this could include redeployment opportunities for staff hit by the closures.

CCEP, formed by the €28bn merger of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Coca-Cola Iberian Partners and Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke in 2015, saw its revenue fall 1.5% to €3bn in the third quarter as the popularity of Coke Zero Sugar failed to make up for the decline of its trademark brands.

The European bottling giant blamed poor weather across Europe, strong prior year comparatives and customer disruptions as the business focused on its margins for a 3.5% drop in volumes.

However, It recorded “strong” growth in the UK driven by “solid” growth in Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, flavours and energy drinks.

A spokesman said: “We know today’s news will be upsetting for our people at these sites, and our immediate priority is to support them throughout the consultation process.

“We are proud of our long-standing links with both towns and have not made these proposals lightly. However, we believe the proposed changes are necessary as they would provide significant productivity improvements and create greater efficiency across our manufacturing and distribution operations in Great Britain.”