Lion announces changes to its Australian brewery operations

Lion today announced its intention to close The Swan Brewery located at Canning Vale in Western Australia (WA).

James Brindley, Managing Director Lion Beer, Spirits & Wine Australia said: “Lion undertakes regular reviews of its operations and unfortunately The Swan Brewery has been operating substantially below full capacity for some time and will require significant ongoing capital investment to maintain its current operations, which is no longer sustainable.

“This is not something we have taken lightly and is no reflection on the dedication and capability of our people at The Swan Brewery or the importance of the WA market to our business. We will be consulting with our people to support them through this significant change.” 

The intended changes to Lion’s operations will result in 80 roles being made redundant, and will also impact contract labour requirements. An additional 55 roles in sales and support functions will not be impacted, and will be relocated to a new office site within WA.

Lion intends to transfer its WA keg production and the brewing of Swan and Emu to its West End Brewery in South Australia (SA) and its WA pack production to its James Boag & Son Brewery in Tasmania (TAS). Swan and Emu will be brewed to the same recipe and Lion’s expert brewers will shortly begin the process of brew emulation testing to ensure absolute flavour consistency.

Lion will invest $70 million into West End Brewery to increase cider and international brand capability and to accommodate the brewing of WA keg production. At James Boag & Son Lion will invest $12m to increase the Brewery’s capability to brew national brands and to accommodate WA pack production. New roles created in both SA and TAS will be made available to people at The Swan Brewery as a first priority. 

“Lion remains committed to the Swan and Emu brands and to the Western Australian market,” continued James. “Our ongoing sales presence in WA and our recent acquisition of Little World Beverages demonstrate that we continue to see WA as an important part of our future.”   

The closure is expected to be completed by the end of March 2013; however the exact timing and process will be confirmed following further consultation with Lion’s people at The Swan Brewery.

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For further information, please contact:

                                                                          

Leela Sutton                                                            James Tait

Lion External Relations Director                                 0400 304 147

0402 260 540                                                            james@jamestait.com.au

Leela.sutton@lionco.com