Cookson said recently it planned to cut 1740 jobs, most of them in the United States, and is closing a number of plants in response to tough economic conditions in its major markets. The company said no more than 220 jobs would go in Britain and that the majority of the new cuts -- about 1200 positions -- would be made in the U.S., where it generated half its revenue last year. The latest cuts boost the total of jobs eliminated this year to 3700, or 18% of its work force of 20,500 at the start of the year. The company said it was closing seven plants in its electronics division, resulting in the loss of 900 jobs. Six sites in the ceramics business are also being shut, causing 670 job losses. It did not identify which plants are being closed. Its precious metals operation, which supplies the jewelry industry, is cutting 170 jobs as a result of weaker demand.
Cookson made the announcements as it reported a loss of 14 million pounds ($20.6 million) for the third quarter, and said its profit for the first nine months of the year was 17 million pounds ($25 million). It provided no comparative figures for a year ago. While Cookson has not yet revealed which plants are to close, it said that about 720 of the jobs being cut were in its U.S. electronics operations and that the majority of that business is in Massachusetts and New Jersey.