250 Bass staff face the axe

Bass Leisure Retail is expected to lay off up to 250 staff and will review marketing expenditure following last week’s unexpected profits warning.

The job cuts are likely to come among administration and non pub staff across the country in a drive to reduce costs and satisfy shareholders.

The costs review will include marketing expenditure, raising a question mark over plans to advertise the Irish-themed pub chain O’Neill’s.

It is thought that the company has been in talks about appointing an advertising agency for the O’Neill’s chain – estimated to be a 2m account – since July.

Bass announced last Wednesday that its 2,600-strong pubs business had been hit by a combination of bad weather and a slowing in consumer spending, reducing profit growth from 13.6 per cent for the first half of the financial year to 4 per cent.

Profits were also down in its brewing and export divisions, by 12m and 11m respectively.

The City reacted savagely to the news, knocking almost 800m off the stock market value of the company overnight.

Bob Cartright, spokesman for Bass Leisure Retail, comments: “We have advised people that there could be up to 250 redundancies.

“We took the view that it was essential that we maintain our investment programme and get the returns on our investments.

“We felt that our overhead costs had become too high.”

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