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Cobham details effiency measures

Cobham, the aerospace, defence and security technology Group, today details plans to consolidate some of its manufacturing operations onto a smaller number of principal sites in line with the company's previously announced efficiency programme Excellence in Delivery, which is designed to position the business to meet growth opportunities.

The Excellence in Delivery programme, originally announced in August 2010, is on track to improve Group profitability by £65 million a year from the end of 2013 by concentrating production at 14 Principal Locations, supported by a small number of specialist sites. These Principal Locations will account for 80 per cent of the operating profit from the Group's manufacturing businesses by the end of the programme, enabling Cobham to run its activities more efficiently. Of the 14 Principal Locations, ten will be in the US, three will be in the UK and one in France.

The closure of nine sites during 2011 has been announced, with work to be integrated into the Principal Locations. Although a number of employees are expected to relocate as part of this site consolidation, up to 150 job losses are estimated in the year, with 30 new positions created. Since planning and execution for the programme began in 2010, the total headcount has reduced by approximately 700 heads to some 11,000 employees, with two sites closed last year.

In the US, where Cobham employs 6,100 staff, three sites in Albion, Michigan, Bolton, Massachusetts, and Largo, Florida will close in 2011 with their operations consolidated into sites in Orlando, Florida and Lowell, Massachusetts. Significant investment has been made in the Lowell site, acquired as part of the M/A-COM acquisition, to enable the Bolton and Largo businesses to be integrated into this Principal Location. All ten Principal Locations in the US are existing production facilities.

In the UK, where the Group employs 2,400 people, Cobham will create a new site at the Solent Business Park at Whiteley, Hampshire specialising in surveillance equipment and technology, through a £2 million investment.

The Solent facility will house a number of the Group's existing surveillance businesses currently situated on three smaller sites, which will close. These sites are Hartley Wintney, Segensworth and Waterlooville, all in Hampshire.

In addition to the new Solent facility, the Group's two other Principal Locations in the UK will be:

- Wimborne in Dorset, the Group's corporate office and centre of air-to-air refuelling production, where 500 employees have recently moved into new purpose-built engineering facilities adjacent to the existing site following a £15 million investment.

- Marlow in Buckinghamshire, Cobham's main site for antenna technology, which moved to its current purpose built facilities in 2007 with the integration of operations from five local and one remote site.

In France, where Cobham employs 900 people, three sites at Goussainville, Plaisir and Grigny will close and their operations will be transferred to a new location in Les Ulis which is being set up with an investment of £2m and which will specialise in microwave products.

Andy Stevens, Chief Executive Officer of Cobham, said: "Good progress has already been made since we announced the Excellence in Delivery programme six months ago and we are on course to achieve £30m of the targeted savings by the end of 2011. The site consolidation we are undertaking will further improve Cobham's efficiency to the benefit of the business, customers and shareholders."

"Our highly-skilled people are the lifeblood of the business and we have sought wherever possible, to mitigate the impact of the site reductions on jobs. We are determined to strengthen, standardise and streamline our manufacturing operations, focus even more on the customer and help secure a world-class reputation for our performance as well as our technology."

Press release issued by Cobham plc on January 14, 2011


 Contact details from our directory:
Cobham plc Radio Communications Equipment, Aircraft Security Equipment, Life Rafts, Medical Equipment, Safety Harnesses, Safety Equipment, Flotation Gear, Ordnance Handling Equipment, Airborne Reconnaissance Infrared, Explosion/Flame Suppression Systems, Locator Beacons, Oxygen & Air Regulating Equipment, Flight Management Systems, Emergency Locator Transmitters, Life Preservers, Communication Antennas, Helicopter Rotors, Cabin Address Systems, Onboard Intercom Systems


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Weapons Systems
Imaging and Visual Systems
Flight and Data Management
Communications (Airborne)

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