Europe's leading pipe supplier expects tough 2009 due to construction slowdown

Wavin N.V., leading supplier of plastic pipe systems and solutions in Europe, is facing the heat in Q1 2009 due to a pan-European decline in construction activity. Compared to Q1 2008, Wavin's Q1 2009 revenue decreased around 35% to approximately EUR 250 mln, according to the guidance provided on the company's website. As per the company, the market for January to March period was down 20-25% as opposed to same period last year. As restructuring measures for 2009, the company has planned to cut costs by EUR 30 mln (EUR 40 million on an annualised basis). After reducing the workforce with 650 employees in 2008, Wavin has this year announced measures leading to 450 additional job cuts. Wavin expects no market recovery in the near future, although the relative comparison base will improve during the year. Despite the governmental measures to back the financial markets and boos the economy, the company feels the period ahead is uncertain as to when the European construction market again will gain ground.
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