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Company News, 2006-07-05, 01:30 PM

Construction elements group to be focused more strongly on target markets

To guarantee profitability and development opportunities for the future, ThyssenKrupp Steel is focusing its construction elements group, which plays a major role in the value chain in the processing of carbon steel flat products, more strongly on the target markets in Western and Eastern Europe.

Under the plan, production of steel sandwich panels in Germany will be concentrated at the locations Kreuztal-Eichen in the Siegerland area and Oldenburg in Holstein. They will take over almost all the production volume of the two other plants in Hof and Leipzig, which will be shut down in 2007. The 53 affected employees will be offered new jobs in the construction elements group or the ThyssenKrupp Group, or other socially acceptable solutions.

The measures will make the remaining Kreuztal-Eichen and Oldenburg locations much more efficient in supplying the core market of Western Europe, with logistical advantages playing a major role. In Eichen, the relocation of equipment from Leipzig to a site close to the Color Profit Center of ThyssenKrupp Steel will create a production and competency center with three sandwich lines for innovative construction products. Oldenburg will take on the lucrative production volumes of the Hof plant, enabling it to better utilize existing capacities. Economies of scale and synergies will create secure jobs at both locations.

For Eastern Europe a forward strategy is planned which is only feasible on the basis of a new location in this region with a favorable cost structure and short distances to customers. A new plant is therefore to be established in Hungary or Romania - using equipment no longer needed in Hof - which will be able to exploit growth opportunities. Starting material is to be supplied by the Color Profit Center of ThyssenKrupp Steel.

Against a background of difficult market conditions in the construction sector, this plan will further strengthen the competitiveness of the ThyssenKrupp Steel construction elements group, which with 831 employees in Germany, Austria, Belgium and France generated sales of EUR334 million in fiscal 2004/2005.

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