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House Clearance Oldham – Metal Recycling News
Corus (formerly British Steel) has announced major changes to its UK engineering steels division, including 1200 redundancies and the sale of its metal recycling business. In a statement issued on 16th June, the restructuring programme sets out the usual aims of increasing efficiency and cutting costs and marks the first major changes since the new company was formed after British Steel’s merger with Dutch company Hoogovens last year. House Clearance Oldham can report the company wants to move into producing ‘added value’ products downstream of the initial metal melting. Scrap processing is not seen as part of this restructuring and the division will be sold as a going concern, with the sale approved by December. Retained employees would move with the company.
Other changes include the closure of the Tinsley Park Works in Sheffield by the end of the year; reduced manning of shifts at Stockbridge Melting Shop and Billet Mill; and the closure of the T Furnace at Rotherham, with the upgrading of the existing N furnace. In total 1200 redundancies mainly in Rotherham and Sheffield will be made now, with a further 230 jobs set to go over the next two years in the company’s research & development sector. Corus blame this decision on “the severe and sustained downturn in financial performance and competitiveness” caused by a falling demand for engineering steels in the UK’s manufacturing industry. “Demand has dropped by 18% since 1995, with no signs of any potential recovery.” In addition, they argue that profit margins have been relentlessly squeezed, predominantly by the automotive sector which accounts for approximately 60% of engineering steels. The strength of the pound against the euro has also hindered Corus Engineering Steel’s attempts to compete in key export markets in the rest of Europe. John Bolton, MD of CES commented, “Unless we implement this package of initiatives to reduce our cost base and restore competitiveness for our products, we will see this position continue to erode.” Corus is expected to report a pre-tax loss of up to £150m for the first half of this year.