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Automation leads to 150 job losses at Lancashire manufacturer


Automation of two Lancashire sites, and a third in Leicester, has led to 150 job losses at a manufacturer of toilet rolls for major supermarkets.

In its latest report to the LSE, AIM-listed, Lancashire-based Accrol confirmed that it had reduced its total headcount from 425 to 275 following full automation of the sites in Blackburn and Leyland.

The financial news in the filing was more positive. Accrol said that it had seen revenues increase from £136.6m to £159.5m in the 12 months to April 30, 2022, while pre-tax losses were down from £3.1m to £2.5m over the same period.

Accroll also noted that it had increased its market share by volume increased to 19.5 per cent, from 18.9 per cent, thanks in part to the addition of new customers including Amazon, Spar, Ocado and Sainsbury’s.

The report added: “”The group is benefiting significantly from the full automation of all of its sites. Since all the automation programmes have been completed, the group has improved its output significantly across all sites – the facial plant output increased by 16 per cent, the Blackburn and Leyland sites improved by 25 per cent and 30 per cent respectively, and Leicester rose by 60 per cent. Like for like headcount in the group’s core tissue businesses has reduced from 425 to 275 over the last two years. All remaining employees now paid the living wage as a minimum and the group joined the Living Wage Foundation in May 2022.”

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