Canadian Manufacturing

DuPont to cut 1,500 jobs

CEO Ellen Kullman said weaker than expected demand in titanium dioxide and photovoltaic markets contributed to the decline.



DOVER, Del.—Chemical maker the DuPont Co. will cut 1,500 jobs and take other steps to increase competitiveness after dismal third quarter  earnings.

The company reported net income of $10 million, compared with $452 million for the same period last year.

Revenue totalled about $7.4 billion, down nine per cent from $8.1 billion.

CEO Ellen Kullman said weaker than expected demand in titanium dioxide and photovoltaic markets contributed to the decline.

DuPont noted that, beginning with the third quarter, its performance coatings segment has been classified as discontinued operations and excluded from the company’s continuing operations results on a retroactive basis. The company announced in August that it was selling the performance coatings business, which caters to the automotive and industrial sectors, for $4.9 billion to private equity firm The Carlyle Group.

DuPont reported a loss from continuing operations of $40 million, compared to a gain of $376 million in the prior year. Excluding one-time items, third-quarter earnings from continuing operations totalled $302 million, down from $579 million, last year.

Kullman said DuPont’s restructuring plan will deliver pretax cost savings of about $450 million by eliminating costs supporting the performance coatings unit and taking additional steps to improve competitiveness. The plan includes eliminating about 1,500 positions globally over in the next 12 to 18 months.

For the quarter, volumes were down in all regions except Latin America, led by a 10 per cent decline in the Asia-Pacific region. Volume declines and currency effects led to sales declines worldwide, with sales dropping 15 per cent in Asia-Pacific and the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Sales in the electronics and communications segment were down 28 per cent, with volume declining 20 per cent. The performance chemicals segment saw an 18 per cent decline in volume and 19 per cent drop in sales.

On the flip side, the agriculture and health and nutrition segments saw sales gains of four per cent each.

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