Manufacturing News

Hills Holdings confirms job cuts

Hills Holdings has confirmed that it will slash around 300 jobs as part of its 'restructuring'.

On Thursday it announced it was carrying out "the consolidation of selected manufacturing activities, the exit of certain products, businesses and sites, and some reductions in staffing levels.

The following day it stated that it would cut 300 jobs, half of which would go from its Adelaide Orrocon operations, including the closing Fielders steel plant at Regency Park, the ABC reports.

Hills said it will consolidate its operations at Mile End, with some workers moving from Regency Park to these operations.

It will also cut jobs in its eastern state operations.

Hills will also shift its manufacturing and market focus from its building and industrial divisions towards its lifestyle and sustainability, and its electronics and communications division, with the company stating that "we will shift market focus and consolidate activities around premises," and "simplify the division structure and our supply chain".

The focus shift is a substantial move for the company, which predicts that by 2015 more than 75% of total group revenues will come from non-steel activities.

Hills chairman Jennifer Hill-Ling stated that the "board and management team are enthusiastic about the opportunities available to Hills as we progress into the New Year in a restructured and more appropriate operational mode.

"We are more than ever focused on the things we can control and the operational performance improvement initiatives now being implemented to maximise our earnings in the medium term while maintaining a strong Hills balance sheet, low debt levels and solid cash flow.”

Ted Pretty, Hills group managing director added that “the steps we are taking today are intended to ensure the Hills Group is better placed to weather the current cyclical down-turn in the building and construction sector and is repositioned to take advantage of opportunities in higher growth sectors in the future".

He went on to say that the company had been passed over for the Government's $300 million steel transformation plan, which weakened the division.


Image: Dean Martin

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