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Eastman Chemical To Cut Jobs, Capital Costs To Improve Financials

Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman Chemical Co. announced this week it will cut 1,200 jobs and $100 million in capital costs in an effort to shore up its sagging financial performance. The chemical manufacturer wants to reduce costs by a total of $200 million. Eastman had $4.5 billion in revenues in 1998, $4.7 billion in 1997, and $4.8 billion in 1996. Revenue for second financial quarter 1999 was $ 1.1 billion, 4% below second quarter 1998. The company will offer voluntary separation packages to U.S. employees who are eligible for a full retirement by year-end, but will resort to layoffs if needed. "The chemical industry has undergone fundamental changes in recent years, making it imperative that we immediately take further steps to improve our financial performance and better position our company for growth," says Earnest W. Deavenport, Jr., chairman and CEO. Eastman Chemical Co. manufactures and markets plastics, chemicals, and fibers. Eastman employs 16,000 people in more than 30 countries.

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