Friday, 7 November 2008

Job losses at HeidelbergCement

Heidelberg slashes over 4,000 jobs in UK and US

Issue date: November 6th, 2008

Globally, HeidelbergCement reduced its headcount from 68,783 to 64,638 over the year to September, with the majority of workers being culled from operations in the slowing economies of North America and the UK, the German company’s third quarter report highlights.

Following its acquisition of Hanson and as a result of slowing growth in the housing market in the two countries, 4,145 jobs were cut “…essentially from location optimisations and capacity adjustments in North America and the United Kingdom,” the report states.

The number of employees at the company on 30 September across Europe numbered 28,873, down from 31,663 the previous September. Meanwhile, the North America headcount fell 1,865 over the same period to 17,970.

The company is seeking to generate savings of €250million a year with its Fitness 2009 program, the full effects of which it expects will come next year, suggesting further headcount reductions could be announced over the coming months. Hanson and Castle Cement in the UK have already announced a range of jobs losses.

HeidelbergCement has been hit hard in the UK and the US. In late October ratings agencies Moody’s and Standard and Poor downgraded the company’s credit rating to sub-investment grade because of the lack of activity in the UK and North America, as well as a lack of further disposals and difficult refinancing conditions.

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