Basel's chemicals industry had more bad news on Tuesday as Switzerland's second biggest producer, Ciba, announced it would cut 450 positions by the end of next year after the release of worse than expected financial results.
A company statement said the job cuts were to be made through natural attrition and would mainly affect the paper treatment and water additives units. It said that the move would help achieve annual cost savings of SFr70 million ($42 million).
Although the group saw its net profit rise by three per cent over the first six months of the year to SFr222 million, sales were down one per cent in local currencies to SFr3.86 billion. The operating result also fell.
Ciba said it now expected the market for specialty chemicals to contract this year rather than grow two per cent as originally forecast. But it said it expected a rebound in the United States economy by the end of the year, helping sales momentum next year.
Ciba's crosstown rival, Clariant, reported last week a 50 per cent decrease in its first half earnings to SFr143 million and said it would slash 1,000 jobs worldwide to cut costs.
Companies have recently announced a swathe of job cuts as they attempt to protect shareholders from the effects of the economic slowdown.
The engineering concern, ABB, is in the process of reducing its global workforce by 12,000. Silicon Graphics' withdrawal from canton Neuchatel will cost 300 jobs, and most recently, Gretag Imaging on Monday said it was axing 800 positions after the slump of demand in the United States.
swissinfo with agencies