Standard closes Italian operations
Standard Commercial will close its Italian operations because of deteriorating market conditions. The closure, which is expected to be completed by March 31, 2005, will affect 62 employees.
Robert E. Harrison, Standard’s chairman, president and ceo, says, “In recent years, the Italian leaf tobacco market conditions as well as the strengthening of the euro have had a significant adverse impact on our results in this market, and our future projections indicate a continuation of this trend. In addition, the recently enacted reform of the Common Agricultural Policy within the EU and its likely effect on future tobacco production and costs have added further impetus for us to take this decision.”
Standard expects to take a charge of $16 million to $20 million in its third quarter to cover initial costs of the move.