French shoe wholesaler, Groupe Royer, is re-organising its business after recording its first ever loss.

The family-controlled firm "was very slightly in the red" last year and saw its turnover fall by around 7% to below EUR300m (US$391m), a spokesman for Royer told just-style yesterday (12 April).

Royer is working to reduce costs by EUR11m annually over the next few years and plans to close a plant near Bordeaux and transfer its activities to other sites.

According to unions, the closure of the plant and downsizing elsewhere will see 163 jobs axed.

"Redundancies will only concern the plant to be closed. Of the 91 staff employed there, a good number will be transferred to other plants while others are close to retirement," the spokesman said.