Internal restructuring
European Union
Location of affected unit(s)
Northern Ireland (UK), Belgium, Germany
Manufacture Of Tobacco Products
Manufacture Of Tobacco Products
12.0 - Manufacture of tobacco products

1,100 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
7 October 2014
Employment effect (start)
1 January 2016
Foreseen end date
31 December 2018


The Japanese-owned tobacco company Japan Tobacco Inc. (JTI) has announced plans to close some of its European manufacturing plants, with around 1,110 job losses foreseen across the EU. It is foreseen that plants in Northern Ireland, Belgium and Germany will be affected by the restructuring, and some production possibly relocated to sites in Poland and Romania. The ERM has reported that 800 of the foreseen job losses will take place at the company’s production site in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, UK. 132 jobs losses will be concentrated at the Gryson production site in Wervik, Belgium - although this closure is not foreseen to take place until 2018.

JTI employed around 27,000 people worldwide at the end of 2012. The decision to restructure and downsize its European production line comes as a response to business difficulties and decline in tobacco sales caused by the introduction of anti-smoking legislation and a declining number of smokers. Profits from the company’s overseas tobacco business, which account for half of JTI’s sales, have also been declining due to depreciating currencies in emerging markets.  


  • 7 October 2014: Volks Freund
  • 7 October 2014: BusinessWeek
  • 7 October 2014: BBC
  • 9 October 2014: Flanders Today


Eurofound (2014), Japan Tobacco Inc (JTI), Internal restructuring in European Union, factsheet number 77708, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/77708.