Although the headline in the Nikkei focuses on a further Y30bn cut in costs in fiscal year 2014 (ie April 2014 to March 2015) compared to FY2011, the article goes on to quote President Yoshikawa as saying that just about all European sites are producing at full capacity. Various aging lines and sites have been closed or revamped including in Sweden. However, because of improving conditions in Germany and the U.K., Yoshikawa revealed that Nippon Sheet Glass has restarted two kilns, bringing the total number operating in Europe to nine.
NSG drastically changed shape with the acquisition of Pilkington Glass in 2006, from a very domestic focused glass company, seemingly fated to be number 2 to Asahi Glass forever, to a multinational with over 80% of its 29,500 employees overseas and 40% of employees and sales in Europe. NSG has been aiming to cut 10% of its workforce since 2012, and seems to have gone some way to achieving this, with apparently 3000 taking retirement (a very Japanese way of conducting redundancies) so far. Two high profile “retirements” were of course Stuart Chambers, the CEO of Pilkington who was made President of NSG Group but quit shortly after to spend more time with his family, and his successor Craig Naylor, ex Dupont.
It seems Stuart Chambers really did want to take things more easy, as the ‘only’ jobs we have seen him take up since is as non executive director at Tescos and Manchester Airport and chairman of Rexam.
We wish NSG and Pilkington well, having enjoyed working with them on cross cultural matters at the time of the merger – however with the company not expecting to return to the black until fiscal 2014, I suppose we should not be holding our breath in expecting more work from them just yet.
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