SKF to cut 150 jobs in France

The Swedish group SKF, the world's leading maker of ball bearings, on Thursday said it would cut 150 jobs in France in response to weakening demand due to client relocations to low-cost countries.

The job reduction will focus on SKF’s plant at Fontenay le Comte, in southwestern France.

“The move of customers from West Europe to East Europe and Asia and their decisions to have local suppliers has led to lower demand for the products that are manufactured at this plant,” SKF said.

The job cuts are to be implemented in 2006, according to French legal procedure, it said.

SKF, which in October reported a 33.6% surge in third-quarter net earnings to 974 million kronor (123 million dollars), said it was also reducing the number of divisions in the group to three.

From January, SKF will only have an industrial division, an automotive division and a services division.



Industry bails on Swedish ball bearings

Swedish ball bearing manufacturer SKF announced Tuesday a decrease of its net profit in the third quarter, amid lower-than-expected sales in its industrial business.

Industry bails on Swedish ball bearings

The company’s earnings shrank by 8 percent to 1.123 billion kronor ($173 million) compared to the same period of 2012, and fell short of the 1.27 billion kronor profit expected by analysts interviewed by Dow Jones Newswires.

This is the eighth consecutive quarter with a year-on-year decline in earnings.

“Our cash flow was good in the quarter,” chief executive Tom Johnston said. “We continued to improve our operating margin sequentially despite the negative mix and a stronger than expected currency headwind.”

“SKF sales in the quarter developed well within our automotive business but were somewhat lower than expected in our industrial business.”

Sales climbed by 1 percent to 15.623 billion kronor.

“We see a positive development in our aerospace, renewable energy and railway businesses. However, we see some lack of traction in a number of other industrial markets,” Johnston added.

SKF expects to “rapidly” close the $1.25 billion acquisition of American bearing manufacturer Kaydon Corporation, which it announced last September.

AFP/The Local/og

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