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Management and Works Councils sign reconciliation of interests agreements

(PresseBox) (Jena, ) At the end of last week Jenoptik and the representatives of the Works Councils signed the social compensation plans/reconciliation of interests agreements for those employees who are to be made redundant from the Jenoptik Group. Following intensive negotiations the parties agreed on a package of measures which provides for interim employment companies to be set up at the Jena and Villingen-Schwenningen sites.

Within the Jenoptik Group, the Optical Systems, Industrial Metrology divisions and part of the Lasers & Material Processing division in particular have posted marked falls in sales and earnings as a result of the crisis in the semiconductor and automotive industries. The consequences of the economic crisis, combined with simultaneous restructuring of production and increases in efficiency as part of the Jenoptik Excellence Program, cannot be cushioned in full by shorttime working and previous savings measures. In September this year Jenoptik therefore widened the scope of the cost savings measures and took the decision to adjust its capacity levels.

The associated personnel measures provide for a reduction in the Group's permanent workforce to approx. 3,000. Around 160 jobs will be lost abroad. At the beginning of 2008 the Jenoptik Group employed 3,400 personnel. In summer this year Jenoptik had already decided to withdraw from the lossmaking midformat camera business, making nearly 45 employees redundant, primarily in Switzerland.

"We have to adjust our cost structures in such a way that we remain competitive even with a level of sales below that achieved in 2008. At the same time we are restructuring our production in particular in the Optical Systems division and optimizing our processes, thus making personnelrelated measures unavoidable given the current economic crisis," said Jenoptik Chairman Michael Mertin. Previous measures, such as not filling posts which had become vacant, reducing temporary posts and shorttime working were no longer sufficient.

The Industrial Metrology division, which has been hit hard by the crisis in the automotive industry, will be amalgamating the manufacture of standard products in Germany at the Villingen-Schwenningen site. Nearly 100 jobs are to be shed at the foreign sites of the Industrial Metrology division, primarily in France and Switzerland. Social compensation plans have been agreed with the employee representatives at the corresponding sites. In Germany this will affect around 50 jobs in the division at various sites. An interim employment company will be set up in Villingen-Schwenningen from January in order to cushion the loss of jobs in a socially acceptable manner.

"Following intensive discussions with the representatives of the Works Councils and the IG Metall we have approved social compensation plans/reconciliation of interests agreements, partly on a voluntary basis, in order to create a transitional process that is as socially acceptable as possible," said Jenoptik Chairman Michael Mertin.

In the Optical Systems division and in part of the Lasers & Material Processing division 56 jobs are to be shed in Thuringia at the Jena and Triptis sites. The elements of the plans include salary grants by the company for the employees in the interim employment companies, grants for training measures as well as payments by the company which are based on the family situation and take into consideration dependent children. An interim employment company will be set up for both sites from January. In addition, the closure of the optics site at Gießen which employs around 40 personnel and the relocation of production to Jena have already been initiated.

Jenoptik anticipates group sales of between 460 and 500 million euros for the full year 2009. It expects to post a positive Group EBIT before oneoff effects.

As a result of the cost reduction measures, the Jenoptik Group expects to post a positive Group EBIT in the doublefigure million euros range in 2010. In addition to the expansion of the international sales network, the Group's growth themes include successful product innovations such as e.g. the laser systems for the photovoltaic industry and the development of the fiber laser, the expansion of the business with infrared optics and offering total operator concepts (Traffic Service Providing).