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Personnel cuts at Ducal
Pine furniture manufacturer Ducal is to make 90 of its 300 administration and support staff redundant, reducing employees number to 650. Increased competition from imports, which led to an increasing amount of cheaper priced products, have been blamed for trading losses in 2001.
MFI had a bumper winter sale and believes there will be no slowdown in consumer spending this year. Sales in the year to December 2001 rose by 14.1% to Stg766 mil. and operating profits jumped 69% to Stg34.9 mil.
Silentnight closes plant
Beds and furniture manufacturer, Silentnight, has been forced to lay off 220 employees with the closure of a cabinet-making factory in Keigthley, West Yorkshire. Production is to be moved to a plant in Sunderland. A company spokes-person said it is hoped that the closure will enable the group to cut some costs. Silentnight has said it is on target to report profits in the region of Stg11.5mil. in April 2002.
Public spending good news
According to AMA Research, the contract market was worth Stg659 m in 2001 and it is
expected to reach Stg765 mil. by 2005, with an annual growth of 3-4% over the next four
years. The growth will be led by increased public spending. Beds and bedroom furniture and
upholstery occupy the two largest sectors, followed by other sectors, including the
Ministry of defence, prisons and the educational sector.
With the rain season about to start in W. Africa logging will be affected, as usual, so supplies will be affected.
Plywood and MDF in the UK
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