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Heywood Williams reduces headcount

Building products supplier Heywood Williams will have reduced its head count across the group by 20 per cent before the end of the year.

The firm ‘reduced headcount significantly’ in North America last year and will have to make further reductions as a result of the credit crunch.

Trading conditions for the firm remain challenging which it expects to continue for the rest of the year and during 2009.

Heywood said residential building products and recreational vehicles have weakened further due to the slump in consumer confidence over the last two months.

In an announcement today the firm said: “Heywood Williams is facing very tough trading conditions, due to the unprecedented impact of the credit crunch on the residential new build and home improvement markets in North America, the UK and Europe.

“These markets account for approximately 80 per cent of the groups sales, with the remainder split between door and window hardware to the UK commercial property market and building products to the recreational vehicle market in North America.”

Customer feedback has told the firm that there are likely to be cutbacks in manufacturing operations in November and December given the lack of consumer demand.

Heywood Williams has seen sales drop 17 per cent to £75 million in the four months to October 2008 compared to 2007.

Sales for the group in the 10 months to October were down 12 per cent to £192 million.