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Distribution and Warehousing Network to cut 700 jobs, finance chief leaves

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Aug 28 (Reuters) - South Africa's Distribution and Warehousing Network Ltd (DAWN) said it would cut 700 jobs and its finance chief Chris Booyens would retire under a restructuring plan, as it battles to cut costs.

The company, which makes hardware, sanitary ware, plumbing, kitchen and engineering products, has struggled in tough trading conditions stemming from South Africa's economic difficulties. These have pushed it to sell assets and cut executive pay.

"Economic conditions have deteriorated further and are not expected to improve in the current financial year," the company said on Tuesday.

It said its current group financial manager Hanre Bester would replace Booyens as financial director.

South Africa's economy remains pressured despite Cyril Ramaphosa's election as president in February on a promise to implement reforms and root-out corruption, which buoyed investor confidence.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned last month that South Africa's economy faced several headwinds, most notably a rapid rise in public debt and potential bailouts of state firms.

DAWN, which operates in South Africa and some other African countries, said its cost-savings plan would include job cuts and lowering its spending on support services and infrastructure.

The company also said it would restructure its three largest units and continue to engage with credit insurers, as it looks to curtail losses over the next 12 months.

DAWN posted a net loss of 426.5 million rand ($29.14 million) for the year ended March 31.

($1 = 14.6363 rand) (Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans and Alexandra Hudson)

2018-08-28 18:01:08

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