Vinyl window and profile maker Deceuninck NV is reorganizing production in Germany and Eastern Europe, with the likely loss of more than 200 jobs at a plant in Bogen, Germany.
Reduced demand in Germany and contrasting market growth in Eastern Europe have prompted the restructuring. The company will shift production of volume profiles for customers in Russia and Poland from Bogen to facilities in Poznan, Poland, and Protvino, Russia.
The German operation, Inoutic/Deceuninck GmbH, is one of the Hooglede, Belgium-based company's biggest units internationally. The plant will shift its focus to window and profile innovation and design. It will serve southeastern and German-speaking Europe, according to the company.
Deceuninck said the company will cut about a third of Bogen's 617 employees. Management is due to discuss proposed capacity cuts with the Bogen workforce.
Managing Director Clement De Meersman said changed marketing conditions and strong Eastern European demand ``require a strategic change with far-reaching consequences.''
``We are, of course, doing everything possible to keep the reduction of the number of positions at our Bogen facility to a minimum. At the same time, this measure ensures that Deceuninck will continue to be successful in Germany over the long term,'' he said.
Meantime, a nonfenestration business unit in Bogen will take responsibility for innovative product sales in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Balkan countries, including those of Deceuninck's Twinson-brand wood composite applications.
Its innovation and architecture business unit will handle innovative design-oriented products as well as new marketing and sales concepts, Deceuninck said. Overall, the new unit structure will allow the firm to adapt to local demands in different markets, the company explained.
Deceuninck bought the Bogen business in 2003 when it acquired Thyssen Polymer GmbH from German industrial group ThyssenKrupp AG. At the time, Thyssen Polymer operated 48 extrusion lines at the site with annual capacity of 143 million pounds, as well as 14 injection presses and six foiling lines. The plant also has compounding capacity of 203 million pounds and a toolmaking operation.
Deceuninck's U.S. operations were hit hard by the American housing market crisis in the third quarter of 2007, suffering from the resulting fall in demand. The weak U.S. dollar and a temporary halt to its wood-decking sales following the takeover of its distributor Alcoa Home Exteriors by Ply Gem Industries contributed to a sales drop of 27 percent in euros, Deceuninck reported.
But, with cost savings and higher productivity resulting from a streamlining program at its plants, the company said it expects the U.S. operations will see a smaller decline in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Late last year, Monroe, Ohio-based Deceuninck North America LLC closed its profile extrusion plant in Oakland, N.J., consolidating the production into its plants in Monroe and Little Rock, Ark.