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Jan 14, 2009

Ecolab announces 1,000 job cuts

Ecolab Inc. on Wednesday followed the beat of the drum of other large U.S. companies, announcing a large round of job cuts due to economic conditions.

St. Paul-based Ecolab (NYSE: ECL) said it’s restructuring its businesses and will cut 1,000 positions, or 4 percent of its 26,000 person workforce. It isn’t clear yet how many of the cuts are in Minnesota.

The cleaning products manufacturer also said it’s speeding up a cost-cutting plan to reduce the number of products it sells by 40 percent. It also is reducing its number of plant and distribution centers, closing two small “non-strategic” health care business and writing down some investments it has in energy management.

The company said in a news release after the market closed Wednesday that it would take a special charge in the fourth quarter of about $19 million related to the cost cutting moves. The actions are expected to save the company $70 million to $80 million annually.

Ecolab also maintained its year-end earnings estimates of between $1.85 and $1.87 per share, excluding special gains and charges.

Douglas Baker, Ecolab’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement the restructuring should lower the company’s overall operating costs for both the near and long term. He said it also helps the company “capitalize on the opportunities we see in our core Institutional and Food & Beverage businesses and enable us to focus on driving our successful global Pest Elimination expansion, Healthcare Infection Prevention business and Water and Energy growth initiatives.”

Source : BizJournals
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