H.J. Heinz (New Zealand) may eliminate 100 jobs as part of region-wide cuts by its parent, the US-based food manufacturer, in the face of “extremely competitive” markets.
Heinz is cutting 245 jobs across its Australian, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand operations, of which 100 may be lost locally, the Hasting-based subsidiary said in a statement. Heinz, which includes the Wattie’s, Golden Circle, Greenseas, Eta, Weight Watchers and Cottee’s brands, employs 1,600 people in New Zealand of a total 2,700 across the region.
“Heinz announced today that it is implementing a new, streamline structure for its Australia, PNG and New Zealand businesses,” the company said. “These changes will enable the company to become more flexible and efficient to support growth in extremely competitive local and global markets. The new structure will underpin the drive for category and brand growth.”
Heinz New Zealand reported a 19 percent drop in annual profit to $50.1 million in the year ended April 28, 2013, according to financial statements lodged with the Companies Office. Sales rose 5.9 percent to $773 million, while the cost of sales rose 8.6 percent to $592 million. Since then the company has changed its balance date, and in the eight months ended Dec. 31, 2013, reported profit of $29.6 million, on sales of $496 million.
Last year, parent company H.J. Heinz Co was taken private when Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway company and Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital bought it for US$28 billion.
By Suze Metherell