Devro - ‘Chinese plant won’t hit Scots jobs’

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SAUSAGE-SKIN maker Devro yesterday signalled its commitment to the factory at its Moodiesburn head office despite continuing to develop plans to open a plant in China.

Chief executive Peter Page told The Scotsman that launching a site in the Far East would not involve switching production from Scotland.

“None of the collagen produced in Scotland goes to China at the moment and this wouldn’t be a case of off-shoring production,” he said. “The British food industry is very particular about where it sources its raw materials from.”

He added: “This wouldn’t be a case of substituting production in one area for production in another – it would be all about growing sales in China.

“By 2015, China will account for half of the world’s collagen consumption. We will need to have a factory there.”

Page said the firm had been exporting collagen to China for eight years, with Chinese people switching from eating cured sausages – in a similar style to salami – to sausages that require refrigeration until they are cooked.

His comments came as Devro posted a 12.8 per cent year-on-year drop in operating profit to £17.9 million for the six months to 30 June following investment in its plant in the Czech Republic and the resolution of problems at its United States factory. Revenues rose by 3.1 per cent to £118.9m, with the interim dividend being nudged up by 1.9 per cent to 2.7p. Page said that the second half of the year would focus on ramping up sales following the investment in production.