Fletchers closes Spanish formica factory

22:24, Jun 28 2012

Fletcher Building will merge its two Formica factories in Spain after a review of operations in that country.

Mark Adamson, chief executive of Fletcher's laminates and panels division, said the 66-year old Formica plant in Bilbao would close, leaving all manufacturing to the Valencia plant.

He said there was significant overcapacity in Formica's Spanish operations, at a time when volumes over the past four years had dropped markedly.

''We remain committed to manufacturing in Spain and, by rationalising our operations, this will allow Formica to remain competitive in what is still a very tough economic climate.''

Fletcher expects to incur a one-off cost of $26 million from the Bilbao closure in its 2012 financial results, but the consolidation is expected to improve pre-tax earnings for Formica Europe by about $8-9 million in the second year.

The company was talking to 180 staff in Bilbao to try and find alternative work for them within the group.

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