Packaging producer Intertape Polymer Group Inc. plans to lay off 10 percent of its work force to improve efficiency. The Montreal firm announced the cutbacks, which will affect about 300 employees, March 10 when it issued an earnings warning.
Difficulties with new computer systems caused problems with customer service, warehousing and order implementation, Intertape said in a news release.
The company will reduce overhead costs with the layoffs, many of which will occur at recently acquired businesses, according to Michael Van Aelst, an analyst at CIBC World Markets in Montreal.
The loss reflects problems the company has had in implementing new order and accounting systems. Intertape installed new computer software at recently acquired companies to avoid Y2K problems, but has had problems with data manipulation, Van Aelst said.
Intertape officials recently met with analysts to explain the business systems problems and earnings warning.
Recent acquisitions include Spinnaker Electrical Tape Co. last spring, Rexford Paper Co. and Anchor Continental Inc. in 1998, and American Tape Corp. in late 1997.
Van Aelst said Intertape lost some sales late last year and early this year when it had systems problems. He said the firm is making good progress on the problems, and he predicts Intertape will debug the systems completely before the end of the month.
The anticipated loss in the fourth quarter "has nothing to do with growth prospects," Van Aelst said in a telephone interview.
Intertape's stock dropped C$10.80 (US$7.40) to C$21.85 (US$14.97) March 13 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Intertape also announced it sold its interest in Ifco-U.S. LLC, a joint venture that produces plastic rental tote boxes. The sale netted Intertape a pretax gain of about US$5 million.