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Cookson Group to close Wrexham factory, most of B’ham ops in major restructure

Cookson Group to close Wrexham factory, most of B’ham ops in major restructure

LONDON (AFX) – Cookson Group PLC announced 80 job losses among a fundamental restructuring of its manufacturing operation which includes the closure of its Wrexham factory and the majority of its Birmingham stamping operation both of which will transfer to Thailand.

The electronics, ceramics and precious metals company said it is proposing a fundamental restructuring of its manufacturing business which has continued to suffer from weakening demand in the industry overall and increasing competition from low-cost imports.

It added certain other products will increasingly be sourced from the group’s US-based precious metals business and its Dublin sales office will close, with the Irish market being served direct from the UK as well as through a local distributor.

A statement from the company said, as well as the job losses, the initiatives will result in annualised cost savings of approximately 2.0 mln stg, at a one-off cash restructuring cost in 2007 of approximately 1.8 mln stg and capital expenditure of 600,000 stg.

Cookson, which consists of a manufacturing operation producing alloy materials, components and semi-finished and finished jewellery, and a distribution and logistics operation supplying these products to manufacturers, designers, independent jewellers and retailers, said trading in its UK Precious Metals business, meanwhile, has continued in line with expectations over recent months.

However, it added, the UK market remains subject to increasing low cost imports and hence these measures are necessary in order to ensure competitiveness.

newsdesk@afxnews.com

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