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Ashland to Eliminate 800 Positions

Covington-based Ashland, Inc announced Wednesday that 800 employees would leave the company by the end of 2014 either through voluntary severance packages or by job elimination.

The job cuts represent 8% of the company's 15,000 employees around the globe. The announcement was part of Ashland's second quarter preliminary financial report for the second quarter.

"Despite the year-over-year comparisons, we were encouraged by our overall performance in the second quarter, as two of our three commercial units,Ashland Performance Materials and Valvoline, posted growth in both sales and profitability," said 
James J. O'Brien, Ashland chairman and chief executive officer, in a news release. "In addition, we saw good sequential improvement, with better-than-expected results across all three commercial units. Within Ashland Specialty Ingredients, sales rose a healthy 11 percent when compared to the December quarter thanks to growth in our core divisions, while EBITDA margin returned to the 20 percent level. Performance Materials reported strong volume gains in both adhesives and composites, as well as significantly improved performance within elastomers. Valvoline reported a record second quarter in operating income, with good growth in lubricant volumes and sales, as well as improved product mix."  

"I am pleased with the progress we are making in our global restructuring, particularly as we have identified cost savings opportunities at the top end of our targeted range of $150-$200 million. We intend to take a disciplined approach not only to capturing those savings, but also to sustaining them. When complete, this restructuring should fundamentally improve Ashland's underlying cost structure, enhance our competitiveness and better position Ashland to achieve EBITDA margins consistent with the top quartile of our specialty chemicals peer group," said O'Brien.

The company did not specify where the jobs would be eliminated.