More job losses predicted for poultry sector

After a tough year in 2009 for the UK poultry industry, one analyst is predicting that although more job losses are predicted, conditions in 2010 will be much more positive.

This is according to new research by industry analysts Plimsoll, which suggests the market is slowly emerging from the malaise of the last two years.

David Pattison, senior analysts and author of the 2010 Plimsoll Analysis explains: “The recession tore through the market in 2008 and most of 2009 and accelerated the rate of change in the market.”

“Aggressive ‘growth at all costs’ operators have been forced to abandon their reckless strategies and many have been caught out and are in real trouble. However, some have come through the recession largely unaffected and look set to make 2010 their year.”

When pressed on what likely changes he envisaged in the market in 2010 he said: “More job losses and consolidations. Even as the market improves there are a lot of companies, large and small, that have only just survived and they have to rebuild their profit margins and efficiencies.

“Our latest analysis projects that a further 9000 jobs will have to be shed if companies are to get back to profit and remain competitive in 2010. Whether through natural wastage or compulsory lay offs, job losses are necessary.

“With the average sales per employee figure down to £213,000, employees need to contribute more to the recovery of their companies. Over £330m worth of profit has been wiped from the market in the last year and employers have no choice, but to cut and get more from their resources”.

As for mergers and acquisitions Mr Pattison said: “In all we named 139 companies in our latest analysis that are ripe for takeover or merger with a larger parent.

“It’s a buyers market in 2010 with many companies still recovering from the recession. For many struggling companies, a buy out may be the quickest route to get the company back on an even keel – even if it means relinquishing their independence.”

On a more positive note, Mr Pattison concluded: “We rated 268 companies as ‘Strong’ in our latest report. As expected this number is down compared with previous years, but these companies will lead the market out of the downturn.”