Greencore, the Irish ready meals and sugar group, is to cut over 300 jobs and close one of its factories, according to newspaper reports.

The company has said it will consolidate all its sugar manufacturing at its Mallow site in Cork and it will be closing its Carlow factory in mid-March.

Greencore has said it will take an exceptional loss of around E65m in its 2005 accounts to cover assets, write-offs and redundancies, but that the consolidation would reduce costs by E6m-E7m by 2007.