Billerud to cut up to 350 jobs to reduce costs and improve profitability

Approximately two thirds of the announced job cuts would affect Billerud's Swedish mills in Frövi, Karlsborg, Gruvön, Gävle and Skärblacka, writes Swedish industrial workers' newspaper Dagens Arbete. Statutory negotiations between Billerud and workers' representatives have already started.

Sweden's pulp, paper and board manufacturer Billerud has announced an initiative to cut up to 350 jobs across Europe and North America in order to reduce costs and improve the company's efficiency, proftability and competitiveness. Personnel reductions would be implemented in both regions and in group functions, Billerud said. These measures were expected to generate annual structural savings of SEK300m with majority of the run-rate savings in 2024. Restructuring costs related to these measures of SEK100m would be recorded in the fourth quarter as an item affecting comparability, the company explained.

According to Billerud, the market conditions remain weak for most product categories and the company does not foresee strong demand recovery in the near term. "We continue to navigate through challenging demand and customer destocking by adjusting our production output [...] and will continue to adjust to the new conditions, aiming to improve our long-term competitiveness.

The job cuts are reportedly part of the company's three year efficiency enhancement programm focussing on profitability improvements "with activities spanning across functions predominantly in Europe." The company targets an EBITDA improvement of SEK1.5bn by the end of 2025 of which SEK600m are to be delivered in 2023 and another SEK700m in 2024.

According to Swedish industrial workers' newspaper Dagens Arbete almost 240 out of the 350 jobs could be eliminated at Billerud's Swedish mills in Frövi (65 employees), Karlsborg (12), Gruvön (approx. 80), Gävle (56) and Skärblacka (25).

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