Hutchinson Tech plans operation in Thailand

Disk drive component maker Hutchinson Technology says it will establish an assembly operation in Thailand.

In a conference call for investors, company leaders said the Thailand operation will help the company lower costs. Production would begin the second half of 2010.

Hutchinson Technology has cut more than 40 percent of its Midwest workforce since last fall, but did not announce any potential for future layoffs at its Hutchinson and Eau Claire sites.

The president and CEO said savings from these layoffs and the closing of a Sioux Falls plant contributed to a stronger quarter than the previous one. Also helping the bottom line were a $25 million debt reduction, smaller losses and improved sales.

The company, which is the city of Hutchinson's largest employer, has been hit hard by a major downturn in the market for personal computers during the recession.

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