ROCHESTER, N.H. -- (Business Wire)
Albany International Corp. (NYSE:AIN) announced today that its
subsidiary, Albany International France S.A.S., has initiated
discussions with the employee Works Council regarding a proposal to
restructure operations at the Company’s Machine Clothing production
facilities in Sélestat and St. Junien. The proposed restructuring would
reduce employment by approximately 200 positions at these locations.
The proposal is driven by the previously reported continuing
deterioration of Machine Clothing market conditions in Europe. The
proposal aims to maintain operations in each location, but restructured
in a manner that will improve competitiveness, increase efficiency, and
promote the viability of these locations in the long term.
An earlier proposal to close the facility in St. Junien, and relocate
production to Sélestat, made in February of this year, was later
withdrawn. Since that time, the Company’s employees and management have
conducted a number of meetings, exchanged information, and explored a
number of ideas focused on addressing the current challenges facing
Machine Clothing operations in France as market conditions in Europe
continue to decline.
President and CEO Joseph Morone said, “As we reported in our
third-quarter earnings release, market conditions in the Machine
Clothing segment in Europe have continued to deteriorate. Our machine
clothing sales last quarter were down 16 percent compared to last year,
which is consistent with the overall European industry. Given structural
conditions in Europe, we anticipate further deterioration in 2013.
“During the past several years, we have undertaken a significant and
deliberate process of aligning our global capacity to the long-term
structure of the machine clothing industry. This restructuring process
led to the closing of 12 plants across the globe, including eight in
North America and three in Europe, and significant downsizing at two
other European plants, along with investment in new capacity in Asia and
South America. The proposed actions in France represent the last step in
this global restructuring process.”
Consultations with the Works Council will be completed in accordance
with applicable French legislation. The Company’s proposal provides,
among other things, that employees faced with redundancy as the result
of the proposed actions will be offered the opportunity to obtain
positions with Albany Engineered Composites (AEC) at its new composites
production facility in Commercy, France. Sélestat is expected to
continue to contribute to the development of the composites activities
in France; in the near term, the Company will rely on Sélestat to handle
systems integration and testing of the specialized weaving lines that
will be utilized at the Commercy operation. The restructured operation
in St. Junien, meanwhile, is expected to remain the Company’s European
“center of excellence” for the engineered fabrics business.
About Albany International
Albany International is a global advanced textiles and materials
processing company, with two core businesses. Machine Clothing is the
world’s leading producer of custom-designed fabrics and belts essential
to production in the paper, nonwovens, and other process industries.
Albany Engineered Composites is a rapidly growing supplier of highly
engineered composite parts for the aerospace industry. Albany
International is headquartered in Rochester, New Hampshire, operates 18
plants in 11 countries, employs 4,300 people worldwide, and is listed on
the New York Stock Exchange (Symbol AIN). Additional information about
the Company and its products and services can be found at www.albint.com.
John Cozzolino, 518-445-2281
and Company for Albany International
Michael Herley, 212-521-4897
Source: Albany International Corp.