Ludwigshafen, Germany -- BASF is to reorganise its construction chemicals business in the declining markets of southern Europe and the UK, and said some 400 positions will be cut in the changes.
BASF says it aims to offer affected employees other positions within the BASF Group wherever possible. Consultations with the responsible employee representatives will start immediately according to local law and regulations.
"The construction industry in many European countries continues to be challenged. We have developed specific measures to adjust to the local market environments and to overall strengthen our ability to create value for our customers and for BASF", said Dr Tilman Krauch, president of BASF's Construction Chemicals.
After the burst of the real estate bubble, construction activity in Portugal and Spain has plummeted below 50 percent of the pre-crisis level and continues to decline, BASF said in a 8 Oct news release. It noted that investment into construction projects in Greece has shrunk to less than 60 percent of its former volume also due to the public debt crisis. In Italy, construction shows weakness over the course of 2012.
BASF will adjust its construction chemicals marketing and sales organisations as well as production capacities in southern Europe to the new market conditions.
BASF also noted that the construction sectors in several Eastern European countries have not developed as expected. For example, construction activity in the Czech Republic is negatively influenced by reduced public and private investment. BASF will aim "to strengthen competitiveness in Eastern European core markets of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia," while in smaller Eastern European countries "more resource-efficient structures will be pursued to address business opportunities."
In the German market, the increasingly fragmented customer structure especially in the area of craftsmen is driving complexity of business processes, the chemical giant said. BASF said it will improve the efficiency of its internal processes to address this complexity.