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PPG To Cut 2,000 Jobs In Europe

Restructuring: Losses to come mostly in European architectural coatings business

by Marc S. Reisch
April 9, 2012

Credit: PPG Industries
A PPG coatings plant in Suffolk, England.
A photo of a PPG coatings plant in Suffolk, England.
Credit: PPG Industries
A PPG coatings plant in Suffolk, England.

PPG Industries plans to cut 2,000 jobs, mostly in its European architectural coatings business. As a result, the firm will take a one-time $208 million charge against earnings to account for the cuts and unspecified asset write-offs.

According to CEO Charles E. Bunch, the cost reductions “are needed to ensure that our cost structure is appropriate for business conditions and that all of our operations remain competitive globally.”

As the cutbacks go into effect, the firm expects to save between $40 million and $50 million this year. When completed, the cost reductions will save the firm about $140 million annually.

Coatings demand in Europe is “muted,” Bunch explains, and it is expected to recover slowly in the aftermath of the European debt crisis. Elsewhere, demand for automotive, aerospace, and industrial coatings is strong, he said.

Because of the better overall picture, PPG says that first-quarter earnings will come in at between $1.75 and $1.80 per share—excluding one-time charges—when the company publishes its results on April 19. The firm earned $1.40 per share in the first quarter of 2011.

Separately, PPG said it would take an additional charge of $160 million for environmental remediation activities at a former Jersey City, N.J., manufacturing plant. The firm plans to submit a final remediation plan soon to the state.


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