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SMT & Inspection | October 21, 2008

Photronics to close down Manchester photomask production

Photronics intents to streamline its operating infrastructure in Europe by ceasing the manufacture of photomasks at its Manchester, United Kingdom facility. The Company estimates that approximately 85 employees will be affected by the planned closure.
The Company plans to maintain a customer support and data preparation center in Manchester to ensure seamless customer transitions to comparably equipped global photomask fabrication facilities within the Photronics global network, including its U.S. NanoFab in Boise, Idaho.

In connection with the announced restructuring plan, Photronics expects to record a total after tax charge in the range of $3.0 million to $5.0 million through fiscal 2009. Approximately 25% of the total charge will be attributed to non-cash items. As implemented, the Company expects to recover all related charges in less than a one-year period through lower operating costs and increased manufacturing efficiencies.

Constantine Macricostas, Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer, commented on the strategic intention to close the Manchester facility, "The European semiconductor landscape continues to change as segments of our customer base become more reliant on Asian foundries for IC manufacturing. Photronics is fully committed to continuing to provide high-quality photomasks and services to our European customers through our manufacturing locations within Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Our plan to streamline the Company's European manufacturing network is a significant step in our strategy to return Photronics to profitability. Finally, we want to acknowledge the dedication and efforts of our Manchester employees and thank them for their contributions to the Company."

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