More jobs are being shed by the clothing manufacturer Dewhirst.

A total of 96 management, technical, clerical and distribution staff are to be made redundant from the company's children's wear division. The job losses will be split between Hull and the London design room. A spokesman said it would leave just 20 people working in that part of the business.

Dewhirst supplies almost exclusively to Marks & Spencer. The company has been moving production abroad in order to meet Marks & Spencer's need to reduce costs. Earlier this year Dewhirst made 1,000 people redundant with the closure of two factories in Cheshire and County Durham.

Dewhirst still has nine factories in the UK, employing 4,400 people, but production is gradually being moved abroad to countries like Morocco, Indonesia and Malaysia, where the majority of the business' manufacturing is now carried out.

Some of the latest redundancies will take effect on New Year's Eve. Other jobs will go by the end of March next year. The redundancies were, according to the company spokesman, the result of "group reorganisation", although he did say that all textile companies in the UK were having to look at their costs.

"If you are a UK textile manufacturing company - particularly a listed one with external shareholders - you have to look at keeping your costs as low as possible. That is happening throughout the industry," he said.

The company remains one of three core clothing manufacturers supplying Marks & Spencer - the others are Courtaulds and Coats Viyella. In 1998, however, Dewhirst saw its profits fall by nearly a third despite an increase in turnover. Last year the company's chairman, Tim Dewhirst, said that the economic outlook was not encouraging.

By Clive Hinchliffe