Northern Ireland textiles company Ulster Weavers is to close two of its four production plants with the loss of almost 80 jobs.

Under the restructuring programme, 38 jobs will go when the Armagh factory shuts, while the plant at Castlewellan in County Down will lose 39 jobs. Further jobs will be lost at the company's head office near Banbridge in County Down.

Managing director Declan Gormley said strong competition from low-cost manufacturers as well as increasing costs in Northern Ireland were behind the decision.

The company, which produces Irish Linen products for retailers such as Marks and Spencer, will continue to employ more than 150 people in the province.