Georg Fischer to Shut Down Production in Bedford

04.12.2003

In the course of the ongoing structural programme designed to increase earnings in the Georg Fischer Corporation, Schaffhausen, the Piping Systems Corporate Group will close its plant at George Fischer Castings Ltd, Bedford (UK), by the mid 2004 and transfer production of malleable cast fittings for the gas and water distribution industries to its Traisen (A) plant.

The Bedford facility currently employs 40 people. In recent years the factory was not working to capacity and as a consequence profits have been adversely affected.

The impact of the production shutdown and job losses in Bedford will be cushioned by a redundancy package negotiated with the Unions. Closure of the Bedford plant and concentration of fittings production at its larger and more modern sister facility in Traisen will bring about a significant increase in productivity and enable overcapacities to be reduced. Future deliveries to customers remain absolutely secure.

As market demand has fallen over recent years, George Fischer Castings Ltd in Bedford has gradually scaled down production capacity and carried out extensive cost-cutting programmes. Since this difficult market shows no sign of any change, and at the same time we are seeing a growing trend towards the use of plastic fittings instead of malleable cast ones, no future was seen for the Bedford factory.

In the course of the ongoing structural programme, the Piping Systems Corporate Group has already initiated the following projects to date: ending of distribution agreement with Fränkische Rohrwerke Gebr. Kirchner GmbH, closure of the plant for plastic products in Genoa, restructuring of the pipe connection systems business in Singen, and selling off its stake in George Fischer Trenton Ltd, Nashik, India.

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