Dutch Press: UK-Dutch Corus Considers Cutting UK Operations

AMSTERDAM: British-Dutch steel and aluminum producer Corus, which was formed by the merger of British Steel and Hoogovens last year, won't exclude selling some of the group's British assets as an option to offset the negative effects of the strong pound sterling, Corus chairman Fokko van Duyne told Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad in an interview. Van Duyne also expected Corus to expand its aluminum activities and said the company was following the divestment of Viag AG-Veba's aluminum operations "with great interest." "If the pound stays at current levels, we will be forced to take steps, and I won't rule out a change in production locations," van Duyne said of losses incurred through the current exchange rate. UK trade unions speculated Corus will cut up to 6,000 jobs in an effort to protect itself against the strong pound. Van Duyne expected Corus to expand its aluminum activities, although definitive plans had not yet been made, the newspaper reported.

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