HELSINKI (AP) -- Finnish forest products company UPM-Kymmene Corp. said Tuesday it will lay off 200 workers at two pulp and paper mills in Finland to further cut costs and adjust to difficult economic conditions.
The job cuts, at the Kaukas mill and Kymi mills in southeastern Finland, come a month after UPM said it will ax 850 jobs in the plywood sector and sawmills in Finland this year.
By the end of the year the Kaukas mill will employ about 700 people and the Kymi mill will have 600 workers, UPM said.
In 2009, the world's biggest magazine paper maker announced major production cuts and warned that it will close plants and slash some 1,600 jobs worldwide during 2009 and 2010.
"The business environment of the pulp and paper industry continues to be challenging. The purpose of the planned restructuring is significant improvement in cost competitiveness and productivity also in the long term," said Arto Lampinen, a senior vice president in UPM's paper business group. "UPM's target is to be the cost leader in the highly competitive paper markets."
The company's stock was up 1 percent at euro7.60 ($10.37) in afternoon trading in Helsinki.
Earlier this month, UPM reported a fourth-quarter net profit of euro295 million ($410 million) -- up from a loss in the period in 2008 -- and said it expects a slight improvement in the industry.
Helsinki-based UPM-Kymmene, one of Europe's largest forest products companies, has 64 plants in 15 countries with 170 sales and distribution companies worldwide. It employs 23,000 people.