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Royal Philips Electronics NV, the world’s biggest maker of light bulbs, will reduce the workforce at its plant in Roosendaal, Netherlands, by 36 percent as the company shifts production to Poland.
Philips is cutting 200 jobs from a total 550 at Roosendaal, where the manufacturer will continue making the newest fluorescent-lamp models, the Amsterdam-based company said today in a statement. Production of older versions of the lamps as well as energy-efficient lighting will move to Poland.
The company and its main competitor in Europe’s lighting industry, Munich-based Siemens AG (SIE)’s Osram unit, are reorganizing product lines as demand grows for light-emitting diodes, pushed by governments phasing out older incandescent technologies in favor of lights that use less energy. LEDs may account for about 45 percent of the lighting market by 2015, according to Philips.
The shift from Roosendaal “is necessary to keep products price-competitive in a market that is rapidly shifting to LED solutions,” Philips said today.
Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten said in September that the company has identified 200 million euros ($266 million) in savings at the lighting division by reducing overheads. Site shutdowns and a shift of some production to lower-wage countries should deliver an additional 125 million euros of savings, Chief Financial Officer Ron Wirahadiraksa said in a presentation to investors.
“A decision like this is never easy because it involves people,” said Steve Klink, a Philips spokesman. The company said it will work to help affected employees find new jobs.
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