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Tridonic to slash magnetics jobs and focus on LEDs

The firm is to withdraw from the magnetics sector due to EU legislation which is expected to come into force from 2017
Tridonic is to pull out of the magnetic ballasts and transformers business with effect from December 30th, 2013.

With a proactive schedule of measures, the company is generating the necessary response to the restrictions that EU legislation will impose on inefficient magnetic technology from 2017 onwards.

With the withdrawal from the magnetics business Tridonic is also ensuring a smooth transition for its customers, who have the option of placing final orders until November.

At the same time, the Tridonic sales organisation will also be supporting customers as they convert to more efficient electronic ballasts.

“Today’s decision means that we will be able to focus more strongly than ever on LED technology,” says Tridonic CEO Alfred Felder. “Over the 2012/13 financial year we were able to increase the proportion of revenue accounted for by LED products to 18.9 percent. Right now we are about to launch a new generation of LED converters in what will be one of our most important core projects at Tridonic in 2013/14.”

For several years now the ongoing decline of magnetics technology has been reflected in falling revenue: between the 2007/08 and 2012/13 financial years. During this period, revenue from the sale of magnetic ballasts fell by 60 percent.

In the 2012/13 financial year, magnetics accounted for just 9.4 percent of Tridonic’s total revenue of €377.7 million. In view of the poor energy efficiency of magnetic ballasts, the EU has acted through the Ecodesign Directive ErP to impose restrictions on the sale of these components from 2017 onwards.

“For several years now we have known that it was only a question of time before a pullout from magnetics technology would take place. In our efforts to secure the future of Tridonic in this decisive phase of the technology shift to LEDs, this is the right time to make a coordinated withdrawal from the magnetics sector," says Tridonic CEO Alfred Felder.

He adds, "Of course we regret this step in view of the employees who are affected. Through their commitment they have played their part in Tridonic’s success for many years. We are not only grateful for this but also want to assure them that we will live up to our responsibility towards them in full."

Withdrawal from the magnetics business will also mean the closure of two Tridonic production plants located in Fürstenfeld, Austria and Melbourne, Australia, with the loss of 102 jobs in Fürstenfeld and 49 in Melbourne.

Tridonic management will be working closely with the employee representatives in Austria and the trade union in Australia to arrive at balanced solutions for the affected employees.

As an alternative to closure of the Melbourne factory on 30th December 2013, we are currently engaged in intense negotiations with a potential investor who will continue to employ the majority of the workforce in the event of a takeover. No decision has yet been made in this respect.

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