Corning To Consolidate Environmental Technology Unit

CORNING, N.Y. (AP) -- Corning Inc. said that it would consolidate its environmental technologies unit in an effort to reduce costs and increase manufacturing efficiencies.

Corning, a maker of specialty glass and ceramics products, which includes diesel filters, said it would consolidate two divisional operations into one business unit.

"The near-term outlook for growth in the emissions-control products markets is much different than we thought even a year ago, so we must adjust our organization to reflect these new business dynamics," said Peter F. Volanakis, Corning's president and chief operating officer in a statement. "We now believe that our near-term environmental technologies revenue opportunity is 20 percent to 30 percent lower than we had planned when we built the organization."

Corning said the new division will be led by Thomas Hinman, senior vice president and general manager. Other managers reporting to Hinman will be required to reduce fixed costs by approximately 20 percent.

Hinman said that the market for Corning's emissions control products may not return to normal levels until 2011 or 2012, given the current downturn in vehicle sales. While Corning's restructuring will allow for lower costs in the short term, the unit will "be able to take advantage of the market growth when it returns," Hinman said.

Shares of Corning fell 18 cents to $16.69 in morning trading.

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