02 February 2010 17:05 [Source: ICIS news]
“We have examined the last 10 years of Clariant’s ongoing restructuring history in detail and we find that its record on meeting targets is poor,” the bank said.
Clariant’s new CEO, Hariolf Kottmann, announced in mid-November that the company had nominated three plants for closure, two for part closure and one under strategic review, with 570 jobs likely to be affected.
But the Credit Suisse analyst note said Clariant's aggressive headcount reductions were unlikely to help profits, adding that previous job cuts had had minimal impact on productivity and profitability.
“We believe Clariant’s legacy, assets and corporate culture pose a far greater challenge to Dr Kottmann than those faced in his previous positions. We therefore prefer to reserve judgement on his impact until progress on 'Project Clariant' is further advanced,” it added.
A Clariant spokesman said the restructuring programme was going to plan and by the end of the year it would have 2,000 less staff than in January.
"We think that the recipe works," he added.
He said Clariant had given itself two years to reduce costs and it believed it was achieving that.
At an investor conference on Wednesday, Kottmann said the new organisation of the company was based on several layers, including the elimination of the divisional management layer and the clear allocation of assets, supply chains to business units.
In addition, Kottmann said the company needed to be flexible and consider potential merger and acquisitions, partnering and divestment opportunities.
But the Clariant CEO added there would be no change just for the sake of change.
Kottmann said that while the global economy would recover, Clariant was not forecasting sustained recovery in demand in 2010.
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