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19/12/2002

Redundancies announced at HIT Entertainment

HIT Entertainment, home of 'Bob the Builder' and 'Barney the Dinosaur', are to cut 70 jobs after buying the company behind 'Thomas the Tank' Engine earlier this year.
Sixty jobs will go when the Southampton office of Gullane Entertainment, bought by HIT in October for £134m, closes shortly, with a further 10 jobs lost in North America from the closure of the Toronto and Los Angeles branches.
Shares in the group fell 6% in early trading after HIT added that consumers in the US, where the company makes 65% of their turnover, were reining in their spending.
Rob Lawes, the chief executive of HIT, said the Gullance deal, which handed it control of the legendary animated steam engine, also gave the company a bloated workforce.
HIT now employs 450 staff in the UK and the US.
(GB)
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