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© dr911-dreamstime.com PCB | May 21, 2013

AT&S to closes Austrian facility

In light of the continued decline in the market – AT&S Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik Aktiengesellschaft has taken the decision to close its production site in Klagenfurt by the end of 2013.
AT&S Klagenfurt Leiterplatten, a subsidiary of AT & S Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik Aktiengesellschaft, took on around 100 AIK Electronics Austria employees in 2003 following the latter’s insolvency, and produced single-sided printed circuit boards for the European market.

Single-sided printed circuit boards use the least complex technology of any of the products made by the industry. Since 2004 the market for single-sided printed circuit boards has been in decline, and the global trend towards relocating production capacity for this particular type of printed circuit board to Asia has intensified sharply ever since. Consequently, large batch orders are now only produced in Asia owing to the pressure on prices, and the European market for single-sided printed circuit boards has been shrinking steadily.

Klagenfurt is the only AT&S Group facility that manufactures single-sided printed circuit boards, and AT&S has done everything it can in Klagenfurt to counter the decline in the market for this technology. However, in 2009 demand slumped dramatically due to the economic crisis, and Europe’s share of the global single-sided printed circuit board market had contracted to around five percent. In contrast to the positive outlook for the AT&S Group’s other production facilities, demand for single-sided printed circuit boards in Klagenfurt has continued to fall – as reflected in revenue losses and the downturn in customer orders. The Klagenfurt facility is no longer in a position to cover costs and is set to close at the end of 2013.

“Despite pursuing all of the options open to us, we were unable to bring capacity utilisation to an economically viable level in Klagenfurt. As a result it will not be possible to significantly improve the long-term earnings situation at the plant. We examined each of the alternatives available to us exhaustively, but were eventually forced to concede that none would have delivered the necessary improvements. We now believe that we have no other option but to close the plant at the end of 2013. We have held talks with representatives of the provincial government, the Public Employment Service (AMS) and the Chamber of Labour (AK) with the full support of the works’ council and are working on a social plan in an effort to reach a suitable solution for our employees,” explained AT&S CEO Andreas Gerstenmayer.

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