The executive and supervisory boards of Pfleiderer AG have approved the permanent closing of the company's particleboard production plant in Gschwend, Germany. The plant had been operating with short-time work for the last 13 months at levels "well below" its optimum capacity, according to the company. The move affects 93 employees.

Michael Wolff, managing director of Pfleiderer's Business Center Western Europe division, cited the plummeting market for raw particleboard as the reason for the closure. "In view of substantial overcapacity, it is therefore absolutely essential to adjust our production output. We are convinced that the phase of consolidation in the engineered wood industry will continue. Furthermore, our margins are under pressure from sharp increases in raw material prices."

He added that to offset these raw material costs, Pfleiderer will increase its prices in Western Europe by 20 to 30 euros per cubic meter beginning in November. Pfleiderer's Business Center Western Europe includes eight production plants and approximately 2,800 employees in Germany and Sweden. Business units operating mostly independently under the BC Western Europe name include wodego, Thermopal, Pfleiderer Industrie, Duropal and Pergo.