Jenoptik prepares for 2010 and takes decision on comprehensive cost reduction program

(PresseBox) ( Jena, )
In order to provide a better cushion for the consequences of the economic crisis, the measures aimed at reducing costs will be expanded in the 2nd half-year 2009. In addition, the Excellence Program, which was started at the beginning of 2009 as part of the strategic realignment, will be quickly implemented in all parts of the Group.

Previous measures aimed at reducing costs primarily encompassed an intensive process of cost and inventory management, combined with a focus on cash flows, a streamlining of the locations, the withdrawal from a loss-making business activity, the optimization of purchasing and, on the personnel side, since January 2009 the shedding of a total of 80 temporary posts and short-time working, for a total of 630 Group employees as of July 31, 2009.

Within the Jenoptik Group, the Optical Systems, Industrial Metrology and parts of the Lasers & Material Processing divisions in particular posted a marked fall in sales and earnings as a result of the crisis in the semiconductor and automotive industries. "In these areas we will adjust cost structures in such a way that we will maintain our competitiveness even at a level of sales below that in 2008. We will therefore be expanding our measures aimed at reducing costs and adjusting our capacities. At the same time we will continue with our initiative on excellence within the Group, concerning the optimization of production and processes" said Jenoptik boss Michael Mertin.

As a consequence of the process, business and location optimizations, together with the expectation that the above-mentioned sectors will recover but not return to their old market levels in the foreseeable future, additional adjustments to personnel numbers will be needed in the Group. As at December 31, 2008 Jenoptik had 3,400 employees and aims for a core workforce of slightly above 3,000 employees. About 160 jobs abroad will be affected. Part of the measures was already published in connection with the withdrawal from the mid format camera business and the closure of the Giessen site.

The expansion of measures to reduce costs specifically means the continued optimization of the Group's locations. Preparations for the closure of the optics site at Gießen have already been made in the 1st half-year 2009, with production moving to Jena, a process that is planned to take place in the 2nd half-year. In addition, following the analyses conducted at the Optical Systems and Lasers & Material Processing divisions within the framework of the Jenoptik Excellence Program, the processes, including production processes, will be restructured and optimized. Preparations are also being made for the further optimization of the locations in the Industrial Metrology division which will have to compensate for the sharp fall in demand from the automotive industry. The development and parts of the production operations are to be concentrated in Germany. A smaller part of the business abroad is also to be disposed of. Just a few weeks ago, Jenoptik had already decided to withdraw entirely from the mid format camera business of the Optical Systems division as the result of insolvency on the part of the supplier Franke & Heidecke as well as the significant deterioration in the business potential.

"Thanks to being active in various divisions our business is based on different pillars. Individual divisions and units e.g. Defense & Civil Systems division have shown that they are largely resistant to economic cycles and will continue to generate positive contributions to the Group result. We must continue to maintain our competitiveness in all divisions over the coming years and will have to achieve this under framework conditions that are worse overall than in 2007 and at the beginning of 2008. Our structural adjustments - both as the result of the economic crisis and as part of our Excellence Program - will require adjustments to personnel numbers," said Michael Mertin. Over and above the halt to personnel recruitment, employee fluctuation and not filling positions that become vacant, redundancies will also be necessary for operational reasons. Talks are now being opened with the employee representatives.
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