Manroland Eliminating 500 Jobs, Consolidating Newspaper Press Manufacturing in Corporate Reorganization

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Manroland AG, the world’s second-biggest manufacturer of printing system, announced a sweeping reorganization Friday that includes consolidating manufacture of small and big newspaper press, and eliminating about 500 jobs.

The changes are a “corporate growth strategy to ensure lasting independence,” the company said. It pointedly noted that its decision to remain a “standalone” company is supported by its big investor Allianz Capital Partners.

Manroland said it would still be involved in manufacturing sheetfed and web press equipment, but it would focus more on selling equipment to emerging markets and service to developed markets.

The measures will make manroland a smaller company, CEO Gerd Finkbeiner said.

“These measures are oriented towards an order volume of 1.4 billion euros (US$1.8 billion) in our core business, which is around 70% of the high of 2007,” he said. The consolidations and layoffs are estimated to save 50 million euros annually, he said.

Under the plan, its three German facilties will be assigned “clear core competencies,” manroland said.

“In the future, the sites in Augsburg (web offset presses) and Offenbach (sheetfed presses) will concentrate exclusively on manufacturing complex parts and assembly,” it said. Manufacture of small  newspaper presses will be moved from its Plauen site to Augsburg, where it manufactures large newspaper presses.

Manroland is also establishing a new “Technical and Industrial Services business sector” with about 300 employees who will focus on industrial consulting and subcontracting technical experts.

Manroland said its staff would shrink by 500, with most reductions taken in administration. “As a result, the number of employees will drop to about 6,000 by the end of 2012,” it said. “This includes previously announced job losses, measures for semi-retirement, and natural employment fluctuations. Our objective is to keep job losses at a socially acceptable level. Talks with labor representatives have been entered into.”

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