Stockholm, Sweden, 14 September 2011 -- The Rottneros Group today announced a planned reduction of staff that will affect about 25 employees at the Rottneros mill. Negotiations with union organizations will commence immediately. The mill is running at a loss, primarily as a result of a weak market for both groundwood pulp and chemithermomechanical pulp, which are the kinds of pulp produced at this mill.
The Group does not envisage any rapid improvement because of weak growth among its customers within the printing paper sector, which are the largest purchasers of the mill's pulp. The Rottneros mill has taken downtime during the year and is planning further shutdowns during the autumn as a consequence of this weak market.
These planned reductions form part of an improvement program, which also includes changes to the company's range of products and other reductions in respect of production costs. It is intended that the cost of these measures be carried in the Group's result for the fourth quarter of 2011. The objective is for these measures to be implemented gradually, up to and including the summer of 2012.
"It is regretful that we are compelled to take measures that have an adverse effect on our employees and their families, but we cannot continue to run the mill at a loss," said Olle Dahlin, managing director.
Plans to commence the production of refined biofuel at the Rottneros mill in cooperation with joint venture partners will not be affected by the measures announced.
The Rottneros Group's other manufacturing unit, Vallvik mill, which manufactures chemical pulp, is showing good profitability, primarily because of a strong market.
Rottneros is an independent producer of market pulp. The Group comprises the parent company Rottneros AB, listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, and its subsidiaries Rottneros Bruk AB and Vallviks Bruk AB, with operations involving the production and sale of market pulp. The Group also includes the wood procurement company Rottneros Baltic SIA in Latvia. The Group has around 308 employees and had a turnover of approximately SEK 1.7 billion in the 2010 financial year.