Rosti (Scotland) Ltd. is the latest of Europe's plastic processors to feel reverberations from the global mobile-phone malaise. The company said it will close its plant in Hamilton, Scotland, later this month, cutting 145 jobs.
The closure follows last year's decision of its biggest customer, Telefon AB LM Ericsson of Stockholm, Sweden, to halt mobile hand-set production. Rosti had opened the $9.3 million Hamilton plant in 2000.
``Rosti greatly regrets the need for this announcement, but considers it to be essential if further erosion of the company's trading position is to be avoided,'' Brian Boyle, Rosti general manager, said in a news release.
The company will shift 25 presses, 10 workers and some business from Hamilton to its larger plant in Larkhall, Scotland, according to Rosti sales director Barry Coughlan. The work includes contracts for Motorola Inc.
Meanwhile, the firm is investing in the Larkhall plant to develop business in the medical sector.
Rosti is a unit of Copenhagen, Denmark-based Rosti Group A/S. The parent has not forsaken the telecommunications business entirely: In March, it opened a molding plant in Suzhou, China, to serve the mobile-phone market. The plant has 20 presses and also makes parts for appliances.
In recent years, Rosti Group's operations in Britain have undergone major reorganization, with the 1999 closure of its molding plant in Southend, England, which employed 66. About a year ago, it closed another plant in Wembley, England, which employed about 200.
Earlier this year, Rosti Group sold off its Hastings, England, operation to mold maker Ak-u-rite Tooling Ltd. of Long Crenden, England.