"Symrise increases the competitiveness of its German production sites"

 

Management develops comprehensive plan to increase competitiveness of German production sites ? works council agrees to plan ? Extensive process optimization will increase efficiency and client orientation ? German Lower Saxony government supports concept to further the company's development.

Symrise, the fourth largest manufacturer of flavors, fragrances, cosmetic ingredients and aroma chemicals, will invest up to 46 million Euros in Germany in the next three years. Symrise has been working since the beginning of the year to optimize several of its core processes to be more closely aligned with client preferences and to improve overall efficiency. In conjunction with the works council, the executive board has passed a series of measures to increase the competitiveness of the company's German production sites. The main aspects of the new measures are an increase from a 37.5-hour work week to a 40-hour work week without wage increases and a salary freeze for the next two years. These measures apply to company employees in Germany, including management and the Executive Board.

"We examined numerous options to optimize our major processes always keeping our customers? requirements in the forefront," CEO James D. Forman stated about the plan. "These measures were jointly developed by management, investors, works council and the union. With this plan, we believe that we have a solid base for better serving our customers and enhancing our overall competitiveness in the international flavors and fragrances markets, while still producing economically in Germany."

As a consequence of these measures, Symrise will expand its fragrance and flavors production in Holzminden. Furthermore, it will consolidate the production of natural flavoring substances on site while retaining production in Nördlingen.

In June, Symrise announced that the optimization of company processes would lead to layoffs worldwide. The company announced today that a total of 580 jobs will gradually be eliminated by the end of 2006; appx. 350 of these positions are in Germany. Transferring production to a location outside of Germany would have had an impact on a significantly higher number of jobs. Symrise´s management will work together with the company´s works council to develop a socially-responsible program for those employees impacted.

"Symrise employees have shown an enormous degree of dedication to the company in the past," said Karl Heinz Huchthausen, head of Symrise?s works council. "These measures are another major contribution towards further improving the competitiveness of the German facilities. The works council stated that this solution will serve as the foundation for the sustainability of the company and for job security at the German sites in the future."

The initiative to improve Symrise's competitiveness at its German production sites has been positively received by the German Lower Saxony government. "Symrise is an important business catalyst for Lower Saxony. The company is a major and important employer for Holzminden county, which has a relatively weak economic structure. Furthermore, the region identifies itself with Symrise as the 'city of fragrances and flavors,'" said the Minister-President of Lower Saxony, Christian Wulff. For these reasons, the state government closely followed the negotiations between Symrise management, the works council, investors and the union in the past weeks. It will provide subsidies related to the company?s planned investments of up to 46 million Euros in the coming three years. "We stand behind the joint solution to increase the competitiveness of Symrise's German sites, both with our moral and financial support." Wulff praised the efforts of all of those who participated: "I have observed a particularly cooperative and open-minded cooperation among all participants. This makes it easier for the state to contribute to Symrise's future."


Contact: Katja Derow
Corporate communications
Tel.: +49 (0)5531 ? 902448
E-mail: katja.derow@symrise.com


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