Vienna – Semperit AG is to focus ongoing restructuring measures on its Sempermed medical segment, the Austrian group announced 22 March.
The rubber products maker reported a volume decrease and an impairment of €55.2 million at its medical unit in 2018.
The business area, which produces latex gloves, posted a 7.6% year-on-year decline in sales to €311.5 million last year.
The unit also posted a loss of €3.9 million last year compared to a profit of €1.8 million in 2017.
This, said Semperit, was due to “unsatisfactory operating performance” and increasing “competitive and price pressures, particularly in North America.”
The Vienna-based group has now allocated 36 months for the reorganisation measure in anticipation of “problem complexity” in its medical sector.
The scheme will target the “structural challenges” in business processes and operations, in IT as well as in the product and market approach.
Semperit launched a major group-wide restructuring scheme at the beginning of 2018 and expects to complete it by the end of 2020.
By the end of last year, the company had identified more than 700 cross-functional and cross-segment initiatives to improve efficiency and profitability.
The initiatives, said the company, cover a broad range of areas, including manufacturing, quality, pricing, and focused market development.
In its 2018 annual report, the company reported “significant improvement” in earnings, helped by positive developments in its industrial sector.
Semperit “significantly” reduced complexity in the industrial sector through the closure of production units in France and China as well as the sale of a site in Italy.
With "clear progress" in the performance of the industrial unit, Semperit has now ruled out further significant expenses related to 'production optimisation' in that area this year.