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Huhtamaki to shutter New Zealand flexible-packaging operations

Finnish packaging converter Huhtamaki will optimize its flexible-packaging manufacturing footprint and shut down its plant in New Lynn, New Zealand, by mid-2012. The unit is currently losing money. About 135 employees are affected.

Huhtamaki will continue to serve its customers in Oceania from sales offices in Auckland, New Zealand, and Melbourne, Australia. Manufacturing will be transferred to Huhtamaki's other flexible-packaging units mainly in India, Thailand and Vietnam.

To close the unit, Huhtamaki will take an approximately €8 million one-time charge in the third quarter 2011. The closure of the New Lynn unit and the transfer of volumes to Asian units will have an estimated €5 million annualized positive impact on the flex-pack segment's EBIT as of H2 2012.

Huhtamaki currently has three manufacturing units in the Auckland area. The closure of the New Lynn unit does not affect the foodservice operations in Henderson or the molded-fiber operations in Otahuhu. Huhtamaki will continue to have approximately 320 employees in New Zealand after the closure of the New Lynn unit.

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