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The Jennie-O Turkey Store plant in Willmar will close next year, with the company saying it's consolidating its brand to make its operations more efficient.

Austin, Minnesota-based Hormel Foods, which owns Jennie-O, saw double-digit sales growth across all segments of the business in the fourth quarter and record sales in 2021 but increased costs chipped away at the company's profits, according to a news release Thursday about its fourth-quarter financials

For Jennie-O specifically, volume and sales increased, with net sales up 23% in the fourth quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2020 thanks to continued recovery in restaurants, strong demand for Jennie-O at the grocery store and higher prices. This helped offset the negative impact of whole bird shipments earlier in the year, Hormel said. 

However, segment profits were down 7% due to higher feed costs and freight expenses, Hormel said. 

Because of this, Hormel plans to close the Jennie-O plant on Benson Avenue in Willmar in the first half of the fiscal year 2022. 

This won't lead to any layoffs, the company says. The roughly 200 people who work at the Benson Avenue plant will transition to the "newer and larger" facility in Willmar. And the company will consolidate production into multiple other facilities, as well as integrate the Jennie-O business functions "more deeply" into the broader company. 

Overall, Hormel earned $281 million in profit on $3.5 billion in sales in the fourth quarter, with sales up 43% compared to the same time last year. 

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