HotRIBS - The online RIB Magazine
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  # 269
Avon Inflatables Plant Closures
Llanelli manufacturing plant to close down
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Avon Inflatables is closing its manufacturing plant in Llanelli, Wales, with the loss of 57 jobs.

The RIB maker, which is owned by Zodiac Marine & Pool (ZMP), said the first redundancies would be made in December this year and the factory closed completely by April 2010. The 11-strong Avon sales and marketing team will not be affected by the "reorganisation".

The move is part of a wider restructuring by ZMP that will also see the closure of its factories in Rochefort, France and Rosas, Spain.

Avon manufacturing will move to existing plants in France and Spain, and a new site in Tunisia, Avon said.

ZMP, whose subsidiaries also build Zodiac and Bombard RIBs for the leisure sector as well as boats for military use, said its decision to close the Avon plant and others was due to increasing pressure from Asian countries.

"The resulting severe downward trend in prices has led to decreasing volumes and a reduction in sales [across ZMP's marine portfolio] between 2005 and 2007 of about 15 per cent," a statement from the French company said.

"Under current market conditions, continuing erosion of ZMP's market share in the recreational sector would lead to a €10 million reduction in sales by 2010. This would further aggravate the overcapacity situation and cause further deterioration in the sector's operating performance, which has shown an operating loss of €4.5 million."

Meanwhile, joint managing director of Avon Inflatables Alan Morgan said: "ZMP is well aware of its responsibility towards each affected employee and here at Llanelli we will be actively working with each individual to support them."

April 2008