Cookson to cut 700 jobs worldwide in pounds 70m restructuring programme

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COOKSON, the ceramics, electronics and engineering group, yesterday unveiled details of a restructuring programme that will cost pounds 70m over the next two years and save pounds 8.5m in the current year plus pounds 14.5m a year in subsequent years.

The shares jumped 11 per cent to 143p in response to the news before closing 12p better on the day at 140.5p.

Profits in 1998, excluding exceptional items, will be at the top end of market forecasts of pounds 145m to pounds 150m, thanks to a better than expected performance in the final quarter, the chief executive Stephen Howard said yesterday. The latest rationalisation programme will streamline the organisation, simplify the product range and cut 700 jobs worldwide or about 4.5 per cent of the workforce over the next 12 months.