LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), June 28 (SeeNews) - Slovenian household appliances maker Gorenje [LJE:GRVG] said on Thursday its home base in Velenje provides the best option for the relocation of the entire production of washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers of its Swedish unit Asko.
Gorenje bought the Vara-based high-end white goods manufacturer in 2010 in a bid to cement its status as a fast-growing pan-European player.
The entire R&D department would remain at the Asko facilities in Vara, as well as the Asko brand management and marketing departments. This would allow some 50 of the approximately 500 employees with permanent employment contract to keep their jobs in Vara. In the days ahead, the Asko board of directors will reach the decision on the optimum relocation solution, Gorenje said in a bourse filing.
The statement was released after Gorenje completed the first phase of negotiations with the representative trade unions at Asko on various possibilities for optimizing and restructuring the company which has so far felt short of achieving its targets despite the numerous projects aimed at improving its performance that were launched immediately after the merger with the Slovenian group.
In pursuance of its strategic plan for 2012–2015, Gorenje Group is conducting various measures to improve profitability and competitiveness, including intensive optimization of all manufacturing operations.
The shift of the production operations to Velenje would take place next year, presumably in two stages. Production of washing machines and tumble dryers would be terminated in Sweden on January 31, 2013, and would resume in Velenje in April of the same year. Dishwasher production would be halted at the Swedish site on June 30, 2013, and would resume in Velenje in September 2013, the statement said, adding that the final decision is to be taken by the Asko board.
The manufacturing operations in Vara represent approximately 7.0% of Gorenje Group's overall production output.