April 26. 2012 11:15AM

Briggs to cut salaried workforce by 10%

Briggs & Stratton Co. plans to reduce its salaried workforce by about 10 percent this year and shift some of its small engine production from Auburn, Ala., to China or elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

The Milwaukee-based company said the 10-percentreduction will affect approximately 210 employees globally. The firm said approximately 250 regular employees will be affected by the Auburn consolidation.
Briggs blamed the cuts on market conditions projections and said it is no longer seeking placement of its lawn and garden products in mass-retail stores but instead will rely upon its wholesale customers to sell products in those stores.
"While we appear poised for an improved lawn and garden market here in the U.S., our longer term projections of the lawn and garden market in the U.S. and in Europe do not return to the peaks that we saw in 2004 and 2005 for the foreseeable future. We previously announced capacity reductions in our manufacturing facilities and have announced today that certain portions of our current business will not be strategic for us in the future," said Todd Teske, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Briggs. "As a result, we are taking the difficult, but necessary actions, to reduce our salaried support staff as well. While it is very difficult to take these actions, it is necessary to reach our strategic goals and position Briggs & Stratton for success in the future.”
The company also announced its fiscal third-quarter earnings of $39.9 million, or 80 cents a share, down from $51.5 million, or $1.02 a share, in the same period a year ago.