Saturday, April 13, 2024

Bremworth offers voluntary redundancies as cyclone-hit plant remains shut

Neal Wallace
Carpet maker can’t say when Napier works will re-open after cyclone damage.
Bremworth chief executive Greg Smith said some staff were given the option of voluntary redundancy or redeployment to the Whanganui plant.
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Wool carpet manufacturer Bremworth is offering voluntary redundancies or redeployment of staff while it awaits completion of insurance claims for its Napier plant, which is still closed following Cyclone Gabrielle.

In an announcement to the NZ Stock Exchange, it said staff have been paid since February but a report by external engineering specialists has now been completed and the results are being reviewed by loss adjusters and Bremworth.

Chief executive Greg Smith said completing the insurance process will take several months but to provide staff with certainty, a portion of the 147 employees were given the option of taking voluntary redundancy or redeployment to the company’s Whanganui plant.

Smith said he cannot say when production will resume at Napier, where it has operated for 60 years.

Capacity has been increased at its Whanganui plant while a spinner in Christchurch is assisting with yarn supplies, and an offer from an overseas producer is being considered.

Smith said bespoke machinery is used to produce wool yarn and visits overseas to assess equipment used by other yarn makers has confirmed Bremworth is one of only a few in the world that manufacturers the type of yarn it does from natural fibres.

Smith told NZX that insurance payments have ensured Bremworth is in a strong position to continue implementing its mitigation and business continuity plans, support affected staff and meet its ongoing obligations.

“Further insurance payments are expected upon completion of the assessment of damage to buildings, plant and equipment, and the loss of inventory and profit, due to the interruption to the business from Cyclone Gabrielle,” he said.

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