Sixty jobs are to go at a shipping and logistics company in Belfast at the end of this year as it shifts its finance centre to Poland.
Danish company DFDS said Belfast would be the first location to lose its finance department out of the 21 countries in which it operates.
The office on West Bank Road in Belfast will close in December, DFDS said. However its other Irish operations, including DFDS Logistics in Belfast and Dublin, are not affected.
While it no longer operates passenger ferries from Belfast after selling the routes to Stena Line three years ago, DFDS continues to operate logistics services from Belfast Port.
Gert Jakobsen, vice president of communications at DFDS, said the business was a “growing company” and that shifting finance and accounting to a single centre in Poland would “ensure a consistent quality, achieve economy of scale [and] efficiently implement new procedures”.
Mr Jakobsen said DFDS had picked Poznan because of costs, the availability of qualified people, its infrastructure and its relative proximity to other DFDS locations.
The company said: “Regrettably, this means that the transactional tasks will be moved from our current departments in all countries to the group-wide centre within the next two years.
“The first place to be affected will be Belfast where we unfortunately had to inform staff that the centre will be closed in December 2013. This will unfortunately affect 60 positions in Belfast.”
The company said it was consulting with staff representatives over the cuts, adding: “This is not related to our other business activities in Northern Ireland and Ireland such as DFDS Logistics in Belfast and Dublin which we will continue to develop and grow.”
News of DFDS’ relocation of finance out of Belfast emerged as receivers were appointed to the DVD and computer games chain Xtra-vision, which employs 245 people in Northern Ireland.