In the week Premier Foods closed a Hovis plant with the loss of more than 500 jobs, Coca-Cola Enterprises has confirmed it is axing its direct delivery service with the loss of up to 300 employees.

As revealed by The Grocer last month, CCE is looking for a “more efficient way of distributing its products to 26,000 [mainly foodservice] customers”.

Six depots in Bristol, East Kilbride, North London, Northampton, Sidcup and Wakefield, will close, with the loss of 288 jobs.

“We have now started a full consultation on these proposalsso it is inappropriate to comment at this stage on contenders for the distribution contract,” CCE said.

The news comes as workers at a Premier Foods Hovis factory in Birmingham completed their last shift this week ahead of the site’s closure next month. Premier announced its intention to close the site, as well as two others and two distribution centres, in November last year following the loss of a £75m contract with The Co-operative Group. Some 511 jobs have been lost at the Birmingham site alone.

“We have worked with the trade unions and Birmingham City Council Task Force to provide all employees affected by the closure with employability assistance, training and support to find other employment, including an employability fund,” Premier Foods said.

This week, Premier revealed sales in its bread division rose 0.8% year-on-year in the three months to 31 March.