PolyOne Corp., a Cleveland compounding and distribution giant that announced four plant closings in February, will close at least seven more by early 2003 and will eliminate 55 jobs in its film business.
The closings and job cuts could save as much as $53.5 million annually and will not disrupt service, the firm said.
The targeted plants will be announced by the end of the second quarter in June. PolyOne spokesman Chris Farage said the closings could come from any of the firm's 30 remaining compounding sites — excluding the previously announced shutdowns of plants in Conroe, Texas; Denver; Glen Rock, Pa.; and San Fernando, Calif. — but will not affect research and development.
The company plans to invest $45 million in new compounding equipment and technology at the remaining sites.
The 55 job cuts in the film business will come from administrative and manufacturing positions in Winchester, Va.; Lebanon, Pa.; and Yerington, Nev. PolyOne recently closed a film plant in Newton Upper Falls, Mass.
The films unit, which posted sales of about $196 million in 1999, has been hit hard by the slowdown in the automotive market, Farage said.
Companywide, PolyOne posted pro forma sales of $3.14 billion and profit of $52.4 million in 2000. The sales number was a 3 percent improvement from 1999, but profit was down 34 percent.
PolyOne was created Sept. 1 by the merger of Geon Co. and M.A. Hanna Co. All financial totals represent the combined companies.
In addition to the $45 million reinvestment in compounding, PolyOne is investing "tens of millions" in a new information technology system designed to improve efficiency, Farage said. The multiyear installation will begin May 1 at a handful of North American sites.
Farage described the IT project as an updating of systems operated by Hanna and Geon. Hanna critics had blamed mishandling of those systems' installation for some of the company's financial woes prior to the merger with Geon.
Other recent cost-cutting moves at PolyOne this year include the closing of a color compounding plant in Coventry, England, and the elimination of 20 jobs in its resin distribution unit.