Electrolux MD sets record straight on local job cuts

By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Electrolux Sweden announced yesterday that it would need to cut 3,000 jobs globally as part of several cost reduction measures. The Australian managing director, John Brown, said that local operations will defer decisions until next year.

In a statement yesterday, Electrolux global head office in Stockholm, Sweden, said it will need to cut more than 3,000 jobs worldwide, “As a result of weakening demand for appliances in the two last weeks of November and in December”.

The company went on to say that the “weak market” negatively impacted sales volumes and there is a risk that operating income for December will be slightly negative and that the company would not achieve its 2008 operating income goals.

Electrolux estimated that the worldwide staff cuts would save the company approximately SEK 1.1 billion (AUD $206.5 million).

Australia’s John Brown, the managing director of Electrolux Home Products Australia and New Zealand, said no decisions had been made regarding job cuts in Australia or New Zealand operations.

“Electrolux Australia and New Zealand has traded well through 2008, but the outlook is uncertain with low consumer sentiment, slowing markets, increased costs, and much weaker local currencies,” Brown said of the Australian and New Zealand dollars.

“It is therefore likely that Electrolux will have to trim its Australian and New Zealand operational costs, including employee numbers, early in 2009. Details have not been finalised and are dependent on trading conditions through Australasia’s peak Christmas-New Year retail season.”

Brown also said that Electrolux will maintains its Australian manufacturing facilities.

“The company’s two Australian manufacturing plants — the refrigeration plant in Orange, NSW and the cooking products plant in Adelaide — will continue, but will most likely lower production volumes in line with market demand.”

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