A CONFECTIONARY firm has laid off 25 staff as it battles changing buying patterns brought on by the recession.

The decision by bosses at Glisten, Hill street, Blackburn, to end its night shift comes as interim results for the six months to December 31, 2008, revealed a £1.3m drop in pre-tax profits.

Paul Simmonds, chief executive of Glisten, said the company was adapting to a changing market and was confident it could emerge in a strong position from the recession.

He said: “We have generated a lot of cash in the first part of this year which is a good sign.

“We are being buffeted by the down-turn but are not being blown over by it.”

Companies are entitled to ‘lay off’ staff as a temporary measure. If work picks up again it can take the workers back on or, if it does not, staff are entitled to redundancy pay after one month.

The latest figures revealed that Glisten’s turnover rose by £1.9m on 2007 to £35.4m, but it was the profit before tax and adjusted items which got hit hardest, falling to £2m from £3.3m.

The company has said its aim is to consolidate its current position following aquisitions in other areas, such as savoury snacking, during recent years.

Mr Simmonds said the fall in profit was down to consumers watching what they were spending in the current uncertain economic times.

He said: “There is lots of switching going on by consumers in what they are buying. Supermarkets are promotional halls at the moment and consumers are changing their buying patterns.

“Glisten has responded swiftly to this challenge with the successful launch of price-fighting ranges offering excellent value for money and securing short term demand.”

Around 140 staff are employed by Glisten at its Blackburn site.