No displays in Durham

LG Philips Displays is to close its plant at Durham in North East England due to ‘crippling price erosion’ and a ‘shift in demand from Europe to Asia Pacific’.

Production is expected to cease towards the end of July 2005 and will result in the loss of 761 jobs.

‘The decision is based solely on the continuing adverse business situation and in no way reflects on the performance of the employees here. Without their hard work, commitment, flexibility and determination, this plant could have closed several years ago,’ said David Coppock, plant director.

Durham employees have invested the time and effort that helped us introduce new products, cut costs and remain viable in an increasingly competitive market. But finally, the economics of the situation have beaten us. Consumer demand for flat screen technologies and larger tubes in Europe, coupled with damaging dollar exchange rates, has left us no option other than closure,’ he added.

We’ve seen a 30% fall in our prices over the past two years. The plant has incurred heavy losses and with no sign of recovery, we simply cannot sustain this position any longer,’ Coppock concluded.

Support for those laid off will take the form of a severance package and assistance to find new jobs and/or retraining in partnership with the UK JobCentre Plus and other agencies.

The Durham plant opened in 1972.