Finland's Neste to cut 400 jobs due to increasing competition

4 weeks ago 21

Media tour of the Neste refinery located at Tuas South in Singapore

A view of the Neste logo at the Neste refinery located in Tuas South, Singapore May 16, 2023. REUTERS/Caroline Chia/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

HELSINKI, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Finland's Neste (NESTE.HE) said on Wednesday it plans to save 50 million euros ($53 million) annually through measures that include shedding 400 jobs globally to prepare for increasing competition in renewable fuels.

The refiner and biofuels producer has grown rapidly in recent years having invested early in renewable fuels it makes from waste and residue, as industries and transport operators seek greener alternatives for fuels to cut their emissions.

Neste said it would merge its Renewable Aviation, Renewable Road Transportation and Renewable Polymers and Chemicals divisions into one, and streamline its development portfolio.

Neste Chief Executive Matti Lehmus said the measures were inevitable to ensure the company's future growth and competitiveness.

"When we look at our operational environment, markets grow but at the same time also competition is anticipated to increase," he told Reuters, adding his goal was to complete the measures by the next European spring.

Lehmus said the company's strategy of focusing on renewables and circular solutions would remain unchanged.

But Neste's rapid growth has led to complexity in its organisation as well as a large number of development projects which it will now reassess, he added.

Neste will now streamline the development portfolio to realise additional savings, majority of them during 2024, the company said.

"Our strategic focus is on expanding our raw material base in the short and long term," Lehmus said.

The company said the restructuring represented concrete steps as part of a plan presented in June to create more than 350 million euro in "additional value" by the end of 2026 compared to 2022.

Lehmus said the 350-million-euro value creation would be achieved both by increasing productivity and by cutting costs.

Reporting by Louise Breusch Rasmussen in Copenhagen and Anne Kauranen in Helsinki, editing by Anna Ringstrom and David Evans

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