Ahlstrom has decided to close its Bishopville plant in the US. The plant, which manufactures glassfiber specialty reinforcements, has suffered from weakening demand in the wind energy business in North America. As a result, a total of 74 employees will be affected beginning in January 2012.
The cooperation negotiations, started in September at the Mikkeli plant in Finland, will lead to a reduction of seven employees, starting from December 2011. The production of glassfiber reinforcements at the site will continue as before.
The measures in Bishopville and Mikkeli are part of the profit improvement program announced on October 18, 2011. The program is expected to improve annual operating profit by approximately €15 million starting from 2012 and may affect about 400 employees. The overall impact of the non-recurring items of the program is cash neutral.
As part of the program, the company has to date announced profit improvement measures impacting a total of 305 employees in Karhula, Osnabrück, Turin, Bishopville and Mikkeli.
The company has to date booked a non-recurring cost of about €32 million relating to the program: €25 million in thethird-quarter 2011 results and for the decisions announced today, a non-recurring cost of about €7 million in the fourth-quarter 2011 financial results.