Imperial Tobacco to close two plants

Imperial Tobacco has announced its decision to close two cigarette manufacturing facilities, one in France and another in the UK, as part of its cost cutting measures.

The tobacco giant said that it would close its Nottingham, UK-based plant, which can trace its roots back to 1877 when John Player had purchased a site for the plant. It may be noted here that the Nottingham-based plant is the group's last plant in the UK.

Another plant to be shut is Nantes, France, which currently employs nearly 320 people. The closure of the two plants will cut as many as 900 jobs across the group.

Imperial Tobacco CEO Alison Cooper said that the restructuring plan would deliver savings of up to £300 million per year by September 2018.

Announcing the move, Cooper said, "These projects are an essential part of securing the sustainable future of the business. The prospect of job losses is always regrettable and we will be doing all we can to support employees."

The tobacco giant blamed tough economic conditions, tougher regulations, higher taxes, and illicit trade of tobacco for its decision to close the plants.

Marred by drastic fall in sales of conventional tobacco cigarettes has prompted Imperial to launch two electronic cigarettes, which will likely hit stores later this year.