Japan glass maker to cut jobs amid Europe crisis

February 3, 2012
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The company did not specify where the axe would fall/FILE
TOKYO, Feb 3 – Japan’s number two glass maker, Nippon Sheet Glass (NSG), will lay off 3,500 workers worldwide, as it faces losses due to its significant exposure to Europe.

NSG, which acquired Britain’s Pilkington in 2006 and relies on Europe for over 40 percent of its sales, has seen a sharp drop in demand for building and automotive glass products, along with a slowdown in solar cell applications.

The firm, led by American president and CEO Craig Naylor, is aiming to slash costs by 20 billion yen ($262.5 million) annually, it said Thursday.

The company did not specify where the axe would fall, but said it would be halting one of its three production lines in Britain.

The layoffs come after the firm cut 6,700 jobs in the year to March 2010, in the wake of the global financial crisis.

It is forecasting a three billion yen net loss for the year ending in March, down from a previous prediction of a 14 billion yen profit.

“The group has experienced a reduction in many of its core markets, including its significant European building products and automotive markets,” NSG said in a statement.

“The global market for solar energy glass has also worsened significantly during the third quarter… the group does not expect to see a recovery during the remainder of the current financial year.”

In the nine months to December, the company suffered an 86 percent fall in net profit on year to 1.29 billion yen.

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