Chemical giant BASF said on Jan. 19 its operating climate had deteriorated more seriously than had been expected, forcing it to cut back on working hours starting next month. "The worldwide activities of BASF declined sharply in December," the company said, adding that the new year had brought no improvement.
As a result, BASF said it would speed up production cuts it had announced in November.
More than 1,600 workers at two plants in Germany and 150 in Italy would start working fewer hours next month.
"The decline in activity was stronger than expected in November and is weighing on results," said chairman Juergen Hambrecht. "An improvement in the months ahead is not foreseen."
The company in November announced a major production cut affecting 20,000 workers worldwide and said it was planning to close 80 factories temporarily.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009