BRITVIC is planning to moving its distribution from east Belfast to Dublin with the loss of 18 jobs.
The maker of Robinsons squash announced a range of restructuring proposals on Wednesday, which include consolidating its distribution activity on the island to its Dublin base.
A Britvic spokesperson stated: “The decision to consolidate island-of-Ireland distribution to Nangor Road and close the depot at Castlereagh Road was clearly a difficult one to take.
“However, the proposed changes announced today are needed to make us more efficient and competitive so that we can protect the long-term future of our business.
“Throughout the next couple of months, we will be consulting with our employees at Castlereagh.
“If the closure goes ahead we will support affected employees as much as needed.”
East Belfast MLA Robin Newton said it was “a sad day for the east of the city”.
“The company has been in East Belfast for many years,” he said.
“These job losses are not statistics: it’s about people, it’s mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, local families who face an uncertain future in a difficult jobs market.
“All that can be done to provide help and assistance to the employees to get a job or job training must be done by the Minister for Employment and Learning.”
Britvic moved its headquarters away from Chelmsford in Essex last year, where it was founded 150 years ago.
It is ending its association with the city with the planned closure of its Fruit Shoot and J20 fruit drinks factory, affecting 230 posts there.
It is also planning to shut its Pennine Spring water factory in Huddersfield with 40 potential job losses, as it concentrates on its Ballygowan water brand.
The soft drinks giant announced cost cuts totalling £30m over three years as it reported a 50% surge in pre-tax profits to £37.5m for the 28 weeks to mid-April.
The company has started a consultation with staff and the sites are expected to close in the first quarter of next year.