Nampak invests in new pharma packaging facility

By Wai Lang Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Investment

Nampak Europe is to invest €4.5m ($5.4m) in a new purpose-built factory to replace its Wolfen facility in a move to reduce product costs in the northern European arm of the business.

The move is another indication of the group’s intentions to invest in new capacity and reinvest in its own technology. Nampak has had tough 18 months, which has seen the firm undergo a major restructure of its European operations.

The move coincides with an expiring lease on the existing premises in Wolfen, Germany. The final decision was taken after plans to add space and improve the layout to enhance production were deemed unfeasible.

The new plant will be constructed adjacent to the existing site enabling Nampak to relocate into a modern purpose-built facility that retains the original Wolfen workforce.

Nampak manufactures a wide range of products for the various industry sectors, including cartons, self-adhesive labels and printed foils used in blister packs. The new facility will primarily be used to produce leaflets for the pharmaceutical market.

The initial investment will be a in the region of €4.5m and further investments will be made in due course to keep up to date with new technology and for growth​” said Tom Reid, Nampak Europe chief executive.

Production at the new site will commence in the late summer of next year​,” he added.

Reorganisation

2010 has seen Nampak beginning to emerge from an intense period of reorganisation in an attempt to streamline productions and turn around its loss-making operations.

Last November chief executive Andrew Marshall's laid out plans to "sell, fix or close​" one in five of the group's loss-making facilities worldwide in addition to scaling back on capital expenditure across the group.

In addition, its pharmaceutical and healthcare packaging business’s management team were reshuffled in a bid to improve efficiencies across its 12 sites in Europe.

The decisions seem to have had an effect. As well as the group's Leeds, UK carton printing site returning to profitability, the former Storey Evans site in Bradford, UK has now been fully integrated into the Nampak’s Healthcare business.

Nampak Healthcare in Bradford, which prints cartons and patient information leaflets for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, recently invested £1m in scanning technology - the first of its kind in the UK.

In figures announced by Nampak Europe's South African parent company, European sales of £175 million ($252.9 million) were similar to that achieved in the year before. Trading profit had increased to £8.9 million, an increase from £6.7million achieved in 2009.

Related topics: Drug Delivery, Processing equipment

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