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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 April 2007, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK
Treorchy axe makes Burberry 1.5m
A protester outside the London store on Wednesday
The closure of the Treorchy plant led to high profile protests
Burberry has revealed that it will make an annual saving of around 1.5m as a result of closing its Treorchy factory.

This amounts to less than 1% of the group's operating profits.

Burberry had insisted the factory was not financially viable because better quality goods could be produced away from the Rhondda base.

Joan Young, who worked at the factory for 25 years and is also a GMB Union rep, said it was "a shock" to hear the firm would only make 1.5m a year.

"It's very sad, to put all our lives in upheaval as they did and throw us out on the dole for such as a small amount of money to them," she said.

Burberry said the decision to close the Treorchy factory followed a thorough consultation process and a year-long review.

Burberry in Treorchy, Rhondda
Burberry took the Rhondda factory over in 1989

"We didn't know they were doing a year-long review," said Ms Young.

"We were giving them our 100% commitment and our work has always been A-grade - we don't know where we went wrong really.

"It seems a shame we have lost our jobs for the 1.5m they are going to make elsewhere."

Despite a high profile campaign against the closure, Burberry reported a 19% increase in sales, thanks to a focus on luxury goods retail and a concerted push further into world markets. However, it will take four years before the fashion house sees the 1.5m profit on the Treorchy closure, as costs relating to redundancies and retraining totalled 4.8m, while an additional 1.7m write-off related to the building.

Last month, more than 300 workers were joined by a male voice choir as they made a final march from the factory's gates to signal the end of 60 years of production.

Burberry took over the plant in 1989, and has moved production to sites in Spain, Poland, Portugal and China.


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"It seems a shame that we've lost our jobs for the 1.5m"



SEE ALSO
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30 Mar 07 |  South East Wales
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