Tangerine Confectionery has announced plans to close its smallest factory in Poole, Dorset.

The factory employs 75 people and manufactures a range of gums, jellies and foam products for own label purposes.

Tangerine said it intended to close the factory at the end of March subject to a consultation with staff representatives.

The maker of Butterkist popcorn and Barratt sweets said the closure would improve the efficiency of its manufacturing base and ensure that “some of the nation’s much-loved products will continue to be produced”.

It added that production would be moved to other sites in the UK where it had capacity. No further factory closures are planned.

“The decision to move production from the Poole site has not been taken lightly,” said Tangerine CEO Graham Hunter. “With increasingly tough market conditions, Tangerine Confectionery needs to ensure it runs efficiently and this has resulted in the decision to move production to our other sites.”

In September, Tangerine published accounts with Companies House that showed a 39% fall in operating profits to £6.9m for the year to 31 December 2011. The company said it had been unable to keep pace with price hikes in key raw materials.