HuhtamÃ¤ki Oyj is preparing to consolidate the European rigid plastics packaging operations it has gathered through acquisitions during recent years.
Espoo, Finland-based HuhtamÃ¤ki announced recently that it will close plants, switch some production between European countries and concentrate processing at key manufacturing centers. The two-year restructuring is designed to boost efficiency and cut costs, according to the firm.
The HuhtamÃ¤ki board, which expects to save about 10 million euros ($13 million) per year, has authorized regional managers to initiate negotiations with employees on the proposed changes, the firm said in a news release.
HuhtamÃ¤ki's acting chief financial officer, Timo Salonen, said operations under review are in Britain, Germany, France and Italy. Negotiations with workers affected by proposed changes and job cuts already have begun in Germany, France and Italy, he said. The firm expects to make final decisions on detailed restructuring in the region in the next few months. HuhtamÃ¤ki plans to reveal a ``more sizeable step'' in the second quarter of this year, he said, which could include changes outside Europe.
One factory earmarked for possible closure is HuhtamÃ¤ki's fresh food and consumer goods packaging plant in Leeds, England. The operation employs 150 making injection molded and thermoformed containers.
HuhtamÃ¤ki said it may move injection molding from Leeds to an existing operation in France, and the amorphous and crystalline PET container production to the firm's large paper and plastics rigid packaging plant in Gosport, England. HuhtamÃ¤ki is in a 90-day consultation process with the Leeds workforce and will make a final decision about the plant's fate in March, the company said.
The restructuring will cost about 16 million euros ($21 million) this year and is being overseen by HuhtamÃ¤ki's new chief executive officer, Heikki Takanen, who came from Electrolux AB in September.
Overall, HuhtamÃ¤ki employs 15,500 in 36 countries and has annual sales of more than 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion).