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Philips to shut down UK manufacturing facility in 2020

Koninklijke Philips NV is planning to close a manufacturing facility in U.K. by 2020, a move which will affect about 400 employees, Reuters reported, citing a company statement.

A company spokesman said the decision is part of an initiative by the Dutch healthcare company to reduce its global manufacturing sites to 30 from 50. Further, the closing has no connection to Britain's departure from the EU.

The Glemsford, Suffolk facility — Philips' only factory in Britain — manufactures baby care products, such as breast pumps, baby bottles and pacifiers, exported to other European countries. As the factory shuts down, production will be transferred to Philips' site in Drachten, the Netherlands.

Amsterdam-based Philips noted it remains committed to invest in its commercial organization and innovation programs in the U.K.

In July 2018, Philips CEO Frans van Houten said the company could could move its manufacturing operations out of the U.K. in the event of a "hard" Brexit. In a hard Brexit, the U.K. leaves both EU's single market and customs union, with few or no trade deals.