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PCB | May 16, 2007

Ruwel adjusts capacities

In 2006 the European and particularly the German car industry experienced a boom in sales. This trend also gave fresh impetus to the Geldern-based RUWEL GmbH.
In view of full order books the company last year took on some 70 new employees, most of them with limited contracts. Annual sales in 2006 rose 3%. More than 62% of its sales, amounting to 167 million Euros in 2006, were realised with printed circuit boards for automotive electronic equipment. The Geldern plant with some 550 employees is almost exclusively focussed on this branch of industry.

Sales in the European automotive business have been declining since the beginning of this year, and this is now becoming noticeable in the order books of RUWEL GmbH. This consequence is strengthened by the fact that all renowned automobile manufacturers and direct suppliers have started to shift their business and purchasing activities to low-wage countries. For that reason it has proved necessary to adjust the capacity at Geldern site by 10 to 20%, a step that will be taken to be as compatible as possible with social policy. A social compensation plan and the reconciliation of interests were therefore agreed with the works council.

However, the millions of investments made in the second half of 2006 and early in 2007 represent a definite general declaration by RUWEL GmbH in favour of the Geldern location. In addition to quality-assuring processes, the company has invested in new technologies and production flow optimization. Geldern will also in future serve as a key and development plant for the automotive business of the RUWEL Group.

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