HELSINKI, FINLAND – Forest products firm UPM says its UPM Timber and UPM Living business units planning production curtailments for the first quarter of 2012. The wood products firm says it is working with labor groups to improve production efficiency.

UPM Timber  Curtailing Plywood Output “Business has been negatively affected by a decrease in demand, weak cost competitiveness and the overcapacity of sawn timber and further processed wood products in Europe," said Ilkka Ylipoti, senior VP, UPM Timber, in announcing the move. "The aim of the plan is to improve the long-term cost competitiveness in the business areas of sawn timber and further processed wood products.”

Negotiations will begin at Aureskoski and Lappeenranta, in Finland, and at Pestovo, in Russia. The 2,500-employee UPM says it hopes the number of employees to be reduced will be 59 people, at the most.

 The length of the temporary lay-offs from production curtailments will vary by unit, but  will not last longer than 90 days, UPM said. The production curtailment negotiations for UPM Timer and UPM Living concern 554 people in Finland.

UPM Timber manufactures top-class sawn pine and spruce timber for the construction and joinery industries, producing around 2.3 million cubic meters of timber. UPM Plywood produces WISA plywood and veneer products for construction and transport industries and formable UPM Grada plywood for furniture and manufacturing. UPM Plywood sales in 2010
were EUR 347 million. it operates six plywood mills and a veneer mill in Finland, and plywood mills in Russia and Estonia.

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