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Rohm And Haas Closing Plants, Cutting 925 Jobs

Specialty chemicals maker said it's cutting 925 jobs and closing several plants, mainly in North America, to boost profitability.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Specialty chemicals maker Rohm and Haas Co. said Tuesday that it's cutting 925 jobs, mainly in North America, to boost profitability.

Chief Executive Raj Gupta cited the ''rapid erosion of business conditions in the U.S.'' The company will close several plants, including those in La Mirada, Calif., Louisville, Ky., and Phoenix.

The Philadelphia-based company expects to take a charge of 35 cents per share in the second quarter. In the second half of the year, profits are expected to be reduced by 11 cents per share, due to accelerated depreciation and other costs.

Rohm and Haas expects to cut installed capacity in its emulsions network by 30 percent in North America, reduce overhead costs for the specialty materials group in slower-growing markets and make adjustments in the electronic materials group to reflect an increased shift in business to Asia.

The company said it expects to generate savings of about $100 million starting in 2010, with less than half of the benefits realized in 2009.

Shares of Rohm and Haas fell $1.36, or 2.6 percent, to $51.03 on Tuesday.

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