Clariant to cut 2,200 staff

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Clariant, the Swiss chemicals group, on Tuesday announced a SFr500m (€314m) restructuring that will see the Swiss chemicals group slash the number of products it offers by 25 per cent and axe 10 per cent of its 22,000 workforce.

The company, which makes textiles, leather and paper chemicals, pigments and functional chemicals, said the changes would take place over four years and be financed from cash flow.

The announcement follows the conclusion of a six-month long review of strategy. The goal is to achieve above sector average return on invested capital by 2009, requiring a 25 per cent improvement on current levels.

There will be “more stringent” resource allocation, focusing on colours, surfaces and performance chemicals. Sourcing and other services will be more centralised, continuing a campaign that began last year.

Clariant will boost capacity in Asia – particularly China and India – where it expects sales growth to be double that of GDP growth. Some SFr100m will be sunk into incubator projects over the four years.

The company last week reported a net loss of SFr14m from continuing operations in the third quarter on a turnover of over SFr2bn.

Clariant shares rose 0.8 per cent to SFr18.35 in early Zurich trading.

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