As many as 900 jobs are to be axed from Diageo’s packaging operations in Scotland.

The drinks giant, behind big name brands including Johnnie Walker, Guinness and Baileys, said 900 jobs would be lost over the next two years following a restructuring programme that would involve the closure of its sites in Kilmarnock and at Port Dundas in Glasgow.

However, Diageo said some of the losses would be offset by the creation of 400 new jobs through the £86m expansion of its packaging plant in Fife.

“We believe the plans announced today will help secure the sustainability of our business in Scotland,” said Diageo Scotland managing director Bryan Donaghey.

“As Scotland’s largest manufacturing exporter, 85% of our output from Scotland is exported to over 180 markets worldwide. We therefore need to be competitive in a global context and the restructuring announced today is a key part of this.”