Auxiliary equipment maker K-Tron International Inc., facing a rapid deterioration in all major economies of the world, has laid off 43 employees and imposed a companywide wage freeze.
Edward Cloues, chairman and chief executive officer, announced the news in K-Tron's 2008 financial results.
Pitman-based K-Tron, which is traded on Nasdaq, reported strong results, including record sales for the year and for the fourth quarter, ended Jan. 3. For the full year, K-Tron reported sales of $243 million and net income of $25.8 million. Both numbers represent an increase of about 20 percent over sales and profit from 2007.
The 2008 results include a full year of sales from Rader Cos. Inc., an equipment maker for the pulp, paper and forest products industries. Rader is part of K-Tron's size-reduction group.
Despite the solid financial results, business is down now, especially in plastics equipment.
Many of the company's customers, particularly in the plastics industry served by its Process Group, have been adversely impacted by reduced demand for their products, the company said.
Cloues said the cost-cutting moves are a response to what he expects to be an overall lower revenue and profit environment in 2009.
K-Tron serves the plastics industry with material conveyors, bulk-handling equipment, feeders and blenders.
The job cuts come from two locations in the United States and one in Switzerland.
Cloues noted that K-Tron benefits from a broad customer base in several different industries, including food, pharmaceuticals and power-generation, sectors that continue to buy K-Tron equipment and parts at levels similar to recent years, he said.