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LANXESS finalizes global package to counter crisis
Jan '09
LANXESS AG has put together a global package of measures named “CHALLENGE 09” in order to mitigate the effects of weak demand worldwide and strengthen the specialty chemicals group's position. This package includes a number of technical process improvements as well as measures affecting personnel.

“We are in the midst of a global recession,” said LANXESS Chairman of the Board of Management Axel C. Heitmann. “Customer demand, especially in the automobile & construction industries, remained weak in January and we do not expect the current economic environment to radically improve going forward.”

After holding negotiations with employee representatives and the IG BCE (the German Mining, Chemical and Energy Industry Union), the following was agreed upon for around 5,000 German non-managerial employees in 2009:
• Introduction of a 35-hour working week with a corresponding remuneration decrease as of March 2009 for initially 12 months
• No bonus for the business year 2009

This result is still conditional upon approval from the respective parties involved.

The following measures for the business year 2009 are envisaged for LANXESS's Board of Management as well as managerial employees in Germany:
• Reduction in variable salary of LANXESS AG Board of Management amounting to 10% of fixed salary
• For managerial employees the variable salaries will be adjusted and their annual fixed salary reviews for 2009 will be postponed by at least six months.

If economic conditions worsen in the coming months, senior management and employee representatives will meet on a regular basis to discuss further measures.

Salary reviews worldwide will also be postponed by at least six months. In some countries, salary increases will be postponed by twelve months. In addition, measures to lower personnel costs will be agreed upon according to the respective country conditions.

Through these measures, which are initially intended for the next twelve months, the company will lower its cash outs by roughly 50 million Euros over the period 2009/2010.

“LANXESS has the expertise to cope with difficult economic conditions. We have already demonstrated our competence in the recent past with the realignment of our company. I am impressed by the commitment and the flexibility of our employees worldwide,” said Heitmann. “We will continue to increase efficiency and focus on innovative technologies as well as products for our customers. Therefore, I believe LANXESS can emerge strengthened from the crisis.”

LANXESS is a leader in specialty chemicals with sales in 2007 of EUR 6.61 billion and currently around 15,000 employees in 21 countries. The company is represented at 44 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacture and sale of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.


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