Steel Maker Outokumpu Falls Deeper in Red

Plans job cuts

Finnish stainless steel maker Outokumpu said on Feb. 3 it fell deeper into the red in the fourth quarter as demand slumped and it will have to cut more jobs. For the three months to December, the company reported a net loss of 233 million euros (US$299 million), after a net loss of 16 million euros in the same period in 2007. Sales fell 34% to 966 million euros.

For the full-year, Outokumpu reported a net loss of 189 million euros on sales of 5.5 billion euros.

The company said there was little visibility in steel markets and forecast another loss in the first quarter of 2009 due to weak demand and prices. "Actions have been taken to decrease working capital, postpone investments and reduce costs. Unfortunately, this also means that personnel adjustments are necessary," company chief executive Juha Rantanen

Outokumpu also said it would start lay-off talks with its employees and expected some 250 further jobs would be cut in Finland, Sweden, Britain and Canada. In addition, more than 2,000 workers will be temporarily laid off to adjust production to lower demand.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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