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Sensodyne maker to cut over 400 jobs and close its only UK factory


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Haleon, the maker of Sensodyne, which employs nearly 2,000 staff in the UK, will transfer some of the production to its site in Slovakia. (Credit – Getty Images)

The maker of Sensodyne toothpaste and Advil painkillers has announced plans to close its only UK factory which will see the loss of more than 400 jobs.

Consumer healthcare group Haleon, which was spun out of drugs giant GSK in 2022, is to shutter its factory in Maidenhead, Berkshire.

In a statement, the company added that the move would impact 435 members of staff at the site.

Haleon said it is planning to close the factory over multiple phases over the next two years. However, it did say that its proposals are currently being consulted on.

The Maidenhead factory makes some of the FTSE 100-listed firm’s toothpaste and mouthwash brands, such as Sensodyne and Parodontax.

Haleon, which employs nearly 2,000 staff in the UK, will transfer some of the production to its site in Slovakia.

A spokesman for Haleon said: “Following a strategic review of our global manufacturing capabilities, we have determined that our Maidenhead site is no longer a viable option for the manufacture of our products.

“We have therefore taken the difficult decision to begin a phased closure of the site over a two-year period, subject to consultation.

“This decision was not taken lightly, and our priority is to ensure that the people impacted are supported through this process.”

Following the closure, it will have a corporate office in Weybridge, Surrey, and a corporate office in London, while it is also investing £130m in a new research and development site in Weybridge.

The firm was formed in 2019 by the merger of the consumer healthcare businesses of British pharmaceutical group GSK and US rival Pfizer, sitting as a joint venture within GSK.

It was then spun out of GSK as a standalone business listed on the London Stock Exchange in July 2022.

GSK and Pfizer have since sold down their stakes in the company, with the pair owning 4.2 per cent and about 24 per cent respectively.

Last month Haleon said it would buy £315m of shares from Pfizer as part of the latter’s plan to reduce its stake.

That announcement came after the business said its revenue had seen single-digit growth over 2023 as the company generated £11.3bn in a year that saw it make several disposals. 

Its revenue went up by four per cent from £10.8bn reported in 2022, as the company’s adjusted operating profit had a healthy growth of 10.4 per cent, at constant currency to £2.5bn.

Over the last year, its net cash flow from operating activities generated £2.1bn, with free cash flow of £1.6bn, while net debt as of 31 December 2023 was £8.6bn. The company stated that within 18 months of its demerger with GSK, it has reduced net debt by over £2bn.

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