Coronavirus forces OC Oerlikon to slash 800 jobs

OC Oerlikon was forced to temporarily shut dozens of manufacturing plants. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Swiss technology group OC Oerlikon says it will cut 800 jobs worldwide in the face of an economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Orders in the first three months of 2020 fell nearly 30% compared to the same period last year, with revenues sagging 15%.

This content was published on May 5, 2020 minutes

The company’s surface solutions divisions, which provides coatings for a variety of sectors, has been particularly badly hit by the downturn in the automobile and aircraft industries. Headcount in the business segment will be reduced 10% - or by 800 positions - the group said on TuesdayExternal link.

The company said the job cuts will occur “across geographies” but would not specify which production sites or specific countries would be affected. The raft of redundancies is expected to cost the company between CHF25 million and CHF35 million ($26 million to $36 million), mostly in severance payments.

The group said it wants to reduce expenditure by at least CHF100 million this year compared to 2019.

Several plants had been forced to temporarily shutter their doors during the pandemic, including 13 in China in February and 25 in a variety of other locations, including Spain, Italy, India, Malaysia and Mexico.

The pandemic has also severely disrupted vital supply chain and logistics operations, the company said at its first quarter results presentation in Zurich.

The one positive note for OC Oerlikon during the pandemic was an increase in global demand for products used to manufacture face masks.

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