Sims Metal Management is in the process of closing underperforming facilities due to falling commodity prices.
The world’s largest metals recycler said at its AGM that it was “resetting its fixed cost base and operational footprint to the new norm”.
This involves redesign, closure and divestment of facilities where an acceptable return on capital is unlikely to be achieved “within a reasonable time frame”.
Details of the company’s resetting plan will be released with its first half of 2015-16 financial results, with the majority of its initiatives completed by the end of 2015-16.
Group chief executive officer Galdino Claro said: “We are pleased with the progress achieved in 2014-15. However, the extreme challenges we are facing from external market conditions have intensified during the beginning of 2015-16.
“Volumes and prices of secondary metals are at the lowest level of the past decade. External market conditions and dynamics represent a new norm and are not expected to improve in the short term.”
Claro said that Sims’ streamlining actions during the previous financial year, including the closure of underperforming WEEE recycling facilities in the UK and Canada, led to a reduction in fixed costs and stronger sales margins.
Its subsidiary, Sims Recycling Solutions (SRS), announced the closure of its Newport WEEE recycling branch (pictured) last year.
It said at the time that its Ellesmere Port branch in Cheshire was also earmarked for closure, while activity in Billingham, County Durham, had been reduced and operations in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, streamlined.
Steel producer Tata recently axed 1,200 jobs from plants in Scunthorpe and Scotland, the latest in a series of cuts across the UK for the steel giant this year.
Another 2,200 jobs were lost on Teesside when SSI closed its Redcar mill earlier this month.