STOCKHOLM, Oct 11 (Reuters) Electrolux AB, the world's second biggest home appliances maker, is evaluating the viability of its plant at Spennymoor in north east England, in the face of downward pressure on prices.
The firm, whose brands include AEG, Zanussi and Frigidaire, said in a statement the investigation regarding the factory, which has about 500 employees, was expected to be concluded during the fourth quarter of this year.
''Imports from countries with lower cost levels have intensified over the last few years, therefore resulting in lower prices,'' the company said.
''Price erosion and the intensified global competition has significantly undermined the profitability of the factory in Spennymoor, which is why we need to review the operations there.'' Electrolux has been cutting costs and moving production to low-cost manufacturing sites in Asia, eastern Europe and Mexico in recent years, seeking to offset stiffening competition as well as the sting of higher raw material prices.
The firm has said it is nearing the end of a scheme under which it is spending between 8 billion Swedish crowns ($1.2 billion) and 10 billion on pushing through cost cuts and relocating roughly half of its plants in Europe and North America, cutting thousands of jobs.
REUTERS MP GC1544