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Jobs under threat at Hawick Knitwear

Hawick Knitwear is set to make 14 employees redundant following weak demand for lambswool products from its contract customers.

Despite the potential job losses, managing director Benny Hartop said other areas of the wool and cashmere manufacturer are “robust”. The consultation period for the roles ends this week (May 15).

In the last week it has taken delivery of two new eight-needle Shima Seiki knitting machines to increase capacity and its conventional link order book is strong, he said. The company, which employs 187 people, produces 7,000 units on average each week at its factory in Hawick, Scotland.

Hartop said: “Our 2015 order book has highlighted lower levels of demand for our traditional 15-gauge plain lambswool products from many of our contract customers.

“As a result of this decline, we have reviewed our current capacity levels and have concluded that we have more capacity than we need in some areas of the business. Regrettably this means that 14 jobs are under threat of redundancy.”

He added: “Our Hawick Knitwear brand sales have also grown by a further 15% in the last financial year and I am confident that our investment in our own brand knitwear will allow the business to recover strongly from this news.”

In its latest available results, Hawick Knitwear’s sales increased 9% to £9.3m for the year to March 31, 2014, but it made a loss after tax of £459,818 compared with a profit of £1,336 in 2013.

@Tara_Hounslea

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