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General Cable plans to close NZ operations employing 160 people

Tuesday 8th November 2016

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General Cable Corp intends to close its local operations, making 160 people redundant, after failing to find a buyer for its remaining Asia Pacific businesses, including the New Zealand unit. 

The cable maker has started a consultation with its workforce over plans to wind down and close the manufacturing and support operations in Christchurch and Auckland, it said in a statement. If the plan goes ahead, manufacturing will continue until the end of March next year. 

"The proposal has been made with reluctance after reflection on the performance and long-term prospects of the business in its current form and the overall industry conditions in the region,” Oceania managing director David Peterson said. "We have made a concerted effort to change the business to meet market challenges, through a reorganisation in New Zealand announced earlier this year and through the closure of the Australian sales offices. Regrettably, these changes have not been sufficient to overcome the fundamental issues."

The North American company has been selling its Asia Pacific operations, but last week said the remaining Chinese, Australian and New Zealand businesses no longer met the 'held for sale' criteria and wouldn't be presented as discontinued in the group accounts. 

Earlier this year General Cable laid off about 50 staff at its Christchurch facility as part of a trans-Tasman restructure that included dumping the production of medium voltage and traditional multi-wire phone cable. 

General Cable Holdings New Zealand, the local holding company, reported a loss of $8.5 million on sales of $163.9 million in calendar 2015, compared to a loss of $17.4 million on revenue of $185.8 million. 

The New Zealand operations provided copper, aluminium and fibre optic cabling for building and infrastructure in New Zealand and Australia, and sales from the global group will be sourced from its 'international manufacturing network' once the local business is closed.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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