02/09/2011

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Schulman realigns capacities in Italian and Australian sites

Production lines at the Verolanuova, Italy facility are expected to be relocated by early calendar 2012. Specialty powders production will be moved from Verolanuova to facilities in Gorla Maggiore. A. Schulman will further enhance the capabilities of the Gorla Maggiore plant to develop and manufacture technical powders as well as custom color masterbatches and compounds for the local market.  A commercial and administrative office will remain in Verolanuova, Italy.Bernard Rzepka, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, Europe, commented on the Italian realignment: "By more fully capitalizing on our state-of-the-art Gorla facility, we will be able to combine our color masterbatch, compound and color powder development and manufacturing to quickly and effectively serve the local plastics markets with innovative products.  We believe this move signals that we are committed to maintaining our leading position in the dynamic Italian specialty powders market as well as focusing on our customers and their profitable growth in European added-value and technology markets."Additionally, the company will move all production from the Breaside facility in Australia. The region will continue to be served by the company's Brisbane facility and Asian facilities in Malaysia, Indonesia, China and soon-to-be constructed India plant.  The consolidation in Breaside resulted, primarily, from the ongoing deterioration of the Australian rotomolding business."The Breaside plant had historically been supported by the water tank market which, in recent years, has been in a steady decline as drought conditions have subsided and government rebates on water tanks withdrawn.  This recent manufacturing optimization will allow us to better lever our existing assets while continuing to serve our customers.  When we complete this consolidation, by the end of the fourth-quarter of fiscal 2011, we expect our Australian operations to return to profitability," said Derek Bristow, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, Asia Pacific.

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