More jobs could go at ASW

Steels group ASW warned last week that its restructuring programme still had some way to go and more jobs could be lost as it rationalised plant. Chief executive Graham Mackenzie, former director-general of the Engineering Employers’ Federation, said he was considering selling the company’s two French plants following a review. Speaking at an overseas conference, […]

Steels group ASW warned last week that its restructuring programme still had some way to go and more jobs could be lost as it rationalised plant.

Chief executive Graham Mackenzie, former director-general of the Engineering Employers’ Federation, said he was considering selling the company’s two French plants following a review.

Speaking at an overseas conference, Mackenzie said ASW intended to focus on higher-margin steel products such as steel bar, which it made in the UK.

Although he said he had received no bids for the French plants he was open to offers.

ASW axed 400 jobs earlier this year after closing three steel plants in the UK. The group took over rival Co-Steel earlier this year and closed a bar mill in Cardiff and a furnace and rod mill at Sheerness, Kent.

Mackenzie, who took over at ASW in March, said the rationalisation programme was a positive step in the restructuring of the group and one of the main moves aimed at returning the company to profit.

Although the company recorded a half-year loss of £16m, it is expected to break even over the full year.

In 1998 ASW made a £22m loss and recorded a fall in turnover – compared with a £5.8m loss in the previous year.