13 May 2013 15:18 [Source: ICIS news]
BUCHAREST (ICIS)--Oltchim’s first-quarter net loss widened to Romania New Lei (New Lei) 85.9m (€19.9m, $25.8m) from a net loss of New Lei 82.8m in the same period last year as sales fell steeply, the Romanian chemical producer said on Monday.
Sales for the January to March period 2013 decreased threefold year on year to New Lei 82.77m, the group added.
Oltchim officials declined to make any further comments on the poor earnings.
Production at Oltchim’s units was severely restricted last year because of a lack of working capital to secure feedstock supplies.
The Romanian government, which has a majority stake in the company, decided on 23 January to begin insolvency procedures in a move intended to pave the way for a future privatisation, as a result of the group’s economic problems. According to government officials, the Oltchim privatisation process is to be restarted in June.
Starting this week, Oltchim is to cut 900 jobs at its site in Ramnicu Valcea, in order to reduce costs. Oltchim has around 3,300 employees many of whom have staged protests in recent months over unpaid wages and prospective job cuts.
The Romanian state holds a 54.8% stake in the company with Germany-based chemical producer PCC holding 18.3% and Cyprus-based Nachbar Services holding 14.3%. Smaller shareholders hold the balance.
(€1 = New Lei 4.32, $1 = New Lei 3.33)
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