Electrolux plans cuts at four factories

Swedish appliance maker Electrolux could close or scale back operations this year at four European factories, the group has announced.

The units, which specialize in the manufacture of refrigerators, are located in Nuremberg, Germany, Fuenmayor, Spain, Florence, Italy and Mariestad in Sweden. They employ between 2,000 and 2,500 people in all, most of them at the German unit.

The first two facilities could face closure while the latter two could see staffing cuts.

The company announcement came a day before its management was to meet German economy minister Wolfgang Clement and as it is in the process of evaluating production sites.

“We have started our study, which will take a long time,” said Jacob Brober, an Electrolux vice president.

“During this evaluation it’s a natural step to meet politicians. Half of our 27 factories in high-cost countries are at risk,” he added, referring to facilities in western Europe, North America and Australia.

The company will soon operate four factories in Poland and has recently shut down units in Sweden and France.

Electrolux saw its net earnings fall 27.6 percent in the first three months of the year to 854 million kronor.