Key Tech announces layoff plans

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WALLA WALLA — Key Technology will cut its global workforce by 8 percent in a cost reduction initiative the Walla Walla-based company announced today.

Exactly how many jobs will be affected and from where they will come was not specified in the announcement.

In addition to the Walla Walla headquarters on Avery Street, the company operates in Beusichem, the Netherlands, and Hasselt, Belgium. Key Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Siegal was not immediately available for comment.

The move, slated for the third quarter of fiscal 2014, is expected to affect quarterly earnings by an estimated pre-tax charge of $1.2 million, according to the announcement.

About half of the cost reduction will reduce future operating expenses, while the other half reduces manufacturing costs. The majority of the reductions will take place by the end of the fiscal year 2014, which is the end of September.

Key Technology manufactures production line inspection equipment used in food processing and other industries.

“We remain focused and confident that we are continuing to build a strong, sustainable foundation and strategy for the company,” Key President and CEO Jack Ehren said in a prepared statement. “While we are continuing to establish this new foundation, we remain vulnerable to the impact of cyclical trends in our core markets. We are committed to improving the company’s profitability in the short-term, while still executing on our long-term vision and strategy that we believe will drive sustainable success and results for our shareholders, customers and employees.”

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