Nippon Sheet Glass Cuts 5,800 Jobs

Reduced demand for glass used in car manufacturing

As the global economic crisis takes a growing toll on industrial production, Nippon Sheet Glass Co. said on Jan. 30 it will cut 5,800 jobs by 2010. The company announced a restructuring plan and said it would fall into the red this year due to falling demand worldwide for its glass, particularly the type used in car manufacturing.

Nippon Sheet Glass said it would lay off around 3,000 employees by the end of March and the rest by March 2010, reducing its global headcount by 15%. The job cuts will largely be carried out by reducing seasonal and temporary workers, it said.

"The speed and depth of the slowdown in international trade have been unprecedented," it said. "The overall objective is to protect the business in the short term and also to re-establish profit growth from 2011 fiscal year onwards," it said.

The company said it would invest 22 billion yen (US$245 million dollars) in the restructuring drive. Nippon Sheet Glass said it expected to post 22 billion yen in net losses for the year to March 31. It had earlier expected nine billion yen in net profit and had posted more than 50 billion yen in net profit the previous year.

Despite being based in Japan, nearly half of Nippon Sheet Glass sales are in Europe. It bought British glassmaker Pilkington in 2006. Nippon Sheet Glass has a British chief executive, Stuart Chambers, one of the few foreigners to head a major Japanese company.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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