HKScan’s €80m plant ceremony diverts attention from profit gloom

HKScan's Rauma poultry plant will save regional jobs in Finland

Meat processor HKScan has celebrated the topping-out ceremony of its “ambitious” €80m poultry plant days after issuing a second gloomy profit warning.

HKScan has celebrated the topping-out ceremony at its state-of-the-art poultry plant in Rauma, Finland.

A topping-out ceremony is a construction rite held when the last piece of supporting structure has been fitted to a building. Nowadays, companies often use it as a PR device – and HKScan’s announcement comes a week after it warned shareholders to expect a big fall in profits.

It is among the most ambitious production investments ever made by HKScan.

Through an €80m investment, the business claims the new plant will sustain local jobs. And the note about jobs is interesting as it follows HKScan’s confirmation this week that it plans to cut at least 35 jobs from its meat plants in Forssa and Outokumpu.

‘Delighted’

This comes as the business said it was expecting comparable operating profit to fall from €21.5m in 2015, to between €12-14m for 2016.

Aside from the gloomy financial forecast, news that the state-of-the-art poultry factory is moving ahead has pleased HKScan’s top brass at a time when positive news seems hard to come by.

I am delighted the project is proceeding on schedule and that we have been able to begin equipment installation as planned,” said HKScan’s chief operating officer Aki Laiho.

Making the plant as environmentally friendly as possible has been a big priority for HKScan since construction began last year. Heating systems for the factory will be energised using power with 90% derived from renewable biofuels.

We plan to increase our energy efficiency by installing more effective systems for heat recovery from flue gases and wastewater treatment systems and by increasing our level of energy self-sufficiency,” added Laiho.

The Rauma plant is expected to be complete in the spring of 2017.

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