200 more job cuts at Rohm

Phila. chemical firm has pruned workers every year since 2004.

Posted: September 05, 2007

Rohm & Haas Co., the specialty chemical firm with headquarters in Philadelphia, announced yesterday that it was cutting about 200 jobs, mostly in the United States.

The cuts represent a fraction of the firm's nearly 16,000-member workforce. The firm has made similar-size prunings every year since 2004, spokesman Brian McPeak said.

This year, the job losses, which will lower third-quarter earnings 7 cents a share, are concentrated in four areas. The company is exiting its Bristol-based digital-imaging business, where it makes toner for laser-jet printers, because other firms are dominant, McPeak said.

Similar job cuts are planned in research and development, based in Spring House, Montgomery County; U.S. manufacturing plants; and business services, including purchasing. The firm expects to save $15 million a year once cuts are finished in mid-2008.

The firm's profit and revenue have been growing steadily. It netted $735 million on $8.2 billion in sales last year, up from $637 million in earnings and $7.8 billion in revenue in 2005. The stock has risen about 28 percent in the last year. Shares closed yesterday at $56.84, up 30 cents.

Rohm & Haas last cut 200 jobs in December 2006. That followed a loss of 400 positions in December 2005 and 200 positions in December 2004.

Contact staff writer Karl Stark

at 215-854-5363 or kstark@phillynews.com.

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