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Economy

Sonoco Hellas Paper Mill Will Close Two Factories, 98 Workers Losing Jobs

ATHENS – A subsidiary of the American packaging and paper tube and core business Sonoco Alcore, Sonoco Hellas paper mill, will shut down its two factories on June 1, the announcement made to its 98 workers there.

The factories are located in Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki, and in Kilkis, also in the northern part of the country. This move comes 26 years after acquiring the old EVIEN textile factory in Thessaloniki.

Workers were informed that a voluntary exit program would be implemented, but no details were provided on how it would work or how much severance would be paid. High energy costs, driven by the factories’ generation of their own energy due to an inability to connect to the grid because of lack of capacity, reportedly led to the decision.

This decision came less than a week after the closure of the Yioula glassworks and follows the end of four other factories in Greece in 2023: Tupperware in Thiva, Reckitt Benckiser near Halkida, and Crown Hellas Can Packaging units in Patra and Corinth.

The decision was made by company executives in Luxembourg, where Sonoco Alcore Sarl, the European arm of the multinational corporation, is based. Despite the closures, it was stated that outstanding orders would be fulfilled.

The company had been performing well on the Athens Stock Exchange, showing a 34% increase for the fiscal year 2021. However, pre-tax and interest losses amounted to €350,761 ($377,551), with the closure occurring during a period of accelerating economic growth.

The post-tax result showed a loss of €540,335 ($581,603) as the company spiraled down after having operated four facilities in Greece. Sonoco Alcore Sarl oversees 70 manufacturing units across 18 countries on the continent.

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