24 Sep 2012

Nuplex to shed New Zealand jobs

11:20 pm on 24 September 2012

Nuplex is to close plants and cut jobs in New Zealand and Australia in response to lower demand for its products.

The resins and chemicals maker says a tenth of its 800-strong Australasian workforce is affected and up to 40 jobs will be eliminated in New Zealand over the next two years.

Nuplex will close its Onehunga plant and its high-temperature facility at Penrose, affecting up to 40 jobs.

It will also close sites at Canning Vale in Western Australia and Wangaratta in Victoria, costing another 40 jobs, but will shift operations and invest more in its remaining sites, including Penrose.

Australasian regional president Sam Bastounas says the firm has experienced very tough trading conditions in Australasia over the last 18 months.

Mr Bastounas says the high Australian dollar and a construction sector that is under pressure are having an impact on the company.

"What we've done is look at our overall footprint across Australia and New Zealand and we've made the decision to streamline our operations and through that preserve manufacturing in Australia and and New Zealand."

The listed company makes products that are used in the paint, paper and textile industries, but it has been hurt by the downturn in construction markets on both sides of the Tasman.

Nuplex's profit is expected to fall by $17 million this financial year due to restructuring costs and writing down the value of plant, equipment and investments.

But Nuplex says the full benefit of the changes should result in pre-tax savings of about $5.6 million a year by 2015.

Nuplex's shares fell 21 cents to $2.97 on Monday.