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BASF cuts jobs in North America

By David Reed, UT EditorMount Olive, New Jersey-BASF Corp has announced completion of Phase I of its two-phase North American restructuring programme announced in August last year. This has involved the loss of about 1000 jobs, at a cost of $20 million, but the full programme aims to cut fixed costs by $250 million a year by 2006, BASF said.The first phase largely involved restructuring of service functions in information technology, logistics, finance, human resources, legal and purchasing areas, and will lead to annualised cost savings of at least $100 million starting in 2004, according to a 17 March statement from the firm. Special charges of EUR 36 million ($39 million) for Phase I were included in BASF’s financial results for 2003, it adds.The second phase aims to “optimise the firm’s business structure.” No specifics were released beyond a statement that this would involve “a broad range of projects designed to optimise business andsite operations in North America.”The programme targets a $150-million reduction in fixed costs, and BASF says it expects to realise half of the cost reductions in the present year, with further measures in 2005, and full realisation of the cost savings by 2006.”

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