PolyOne Corp. has closed its color compounding plant in Coventry, England, relocating the plant's employees and production to a nearby plant in Manchester.
The Cleveland firm, which ranks as North America's largest compounder, still operates five plants in the United Kingdom.
"This is a more efficient way for us to operate in a region where we have multiple facilities," PolyOne spokesman Chris Farage said Jan. 9 by telephone. "This in no way minimizes our presence in the U.K."
PolyOne's Engineering Materials Europe business will remain in Coventry. The unit handles sales of engineering-resin-based compounds made at PolyOne plants in Germany, Spain and Italy.
The Coventry site, which operated as Victor International Plastics, employed fewer than 20, all of whom will transfer to the Manchester plant, Farage said.
Cost-cutting is a vital concern for PolyOne these days. On Dec. 19, the firm announced its fourth-quarter loss would be 10-15 cents per share. Analysts had expected anywhere from a profit of 1 cent per share to a loss of 12 cents per share. The firm's pro forma sales through the first nine months of 2000 were up more than 6 percent from the same period in 1999, climbing from $2.38 billion to $2.53 billion. That figure includes existing Geon Co. and M.A. Hanna Co. businesses, as well as Geon's acquisitions of film producer O'Sullivan Corp. and its 24 percent share in PVC maker Oxy Vinyls LP.
But PolyOne's profit was down more than 12 percent in that period, dropping from almost $66 million to less than $58 million.
"We continue to see customers in the vinyl chain reducing inventories, while customers for most of our other products, particularly in the automotive and building materials markets, are facing further reduced demand for their products," PolyOne Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Waltermire said in a news release.
In spite of the recent troubles, PolyOne's stock was upgraded Dec. 29 from "market performer" to "market outperformer" by New York investment firm Goldman Sachs.
The move boosted PolyOne's stock price, which had dropped below $5. Its price stood Jan. 9 at about $7.25. PolyOne stock had opened at $9 per share Sept. 1, when the firm was formed by a merger of Cleveland-based Hanna and Geon of Avon Lake, Ohio.