JBT Corporation, a leading global technology solutions provider to the food processing and air transportation industries, has announced cost reduction actions in its FoodTech segment in response to market conditions with an objective to improve margins.
"2011 was a challenging year for our FoodTech operations as we faced significant headwinds that negatively impacted our margins. Furthermore, economic uncertainties are pressuring demand in our major markets, particularly Europe and North America. As a result, we are implementing plans to re-align our FoodTech manufacturing capacity to further reduce costs and better address end market demand," said Charlie Cannon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
"These actions are in line with a key element of our 4G strategy to grow margins, and we will continue to monitor the economic environment to implement further actions if necessary."
The Company's cost reduction actions reflect the following:
o Transferring manufacturing of certain freezer product lines to North America and China to improve flexibility to better address local market needs and to mitigate currency impacts in Sweden
o Consolidating batch sterilization equipment manufacturing footprint to reduce presence in higher cost regions
o Further reducing costs in response to lower demand in Europe and North America.
The cost reduction actions announced today primarily consist of a workforce reduction of approximately 115 positions and are expected to generate annualized pre-tax savings of approximately $9 million by 2013.
The company recognized essentially all of the pre-tax charge of approximately $10.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The workforce reduction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2012.