Jøtul moves production parts to Poland


About 100 people are losing their jobs because parts of Jøtul's production in Fredrikstad and its subsidiary Scan in Denmark have merged and moved to Poland.

Arild Johannessen na Jøtul

Club leader Arild Johannessen at Jøtul in Fredrikstad.

Photo: Lotte Olsen Jessa / NRK

"It may seem that there are about 100 permanent employees affected by this decision, it will mainly hit the production line and the employees there, we will negotiate with the company and see if we can establish new tasks here," said club leader Arild Johannessen, to NRK.

A Jøtul press release states that the company will develop a 20,000-square-meter production plant in Poland.

– The production of Scan products currently in Vissenbjerg, Denmark, is being transferred to the new factory in Poland. The same will happen with the more labor-intensive processes at the Kråkerøy plant, according to the press release.

– People are shocked.

Jøtul AS has 280 employees at Kråkerøy in Fredrikstad and, according to Fredriksstad Blad, all were invited to attend the meeting.

"It will be produced as usual until 2019, before this plan is implemented from January 2020," said club director Johannessen.

He further explains that the atmosphere at the meeting was silent and no doubt in the aftermath.

"This is very surprising, we will have a meeting of members next Thursday where we will see how we can contribute to the members, but this is dramatic and people are, of course, shocked and affected now," he says.

The company has been economically used for several years. Last year, the Fredrikstad factory earned NOK 493 million, with an operating profit of NOK 278 million in less. The main reason for the deficit was the fall in company values.

In early 2018, Jøtul was acquired by today's owner, American OpenGate Capital. According to site E24, the price was about 360 million kronor.

Jøtul currently has 500 employees worldwide. More than half work in the production facility and headquartered in Fredrikstad.

In addition, the company has seven subsidiaries in the United States, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Poland, Denmark and Italy.

Rescued from bankruptcy by the Gahr family

Jøtul A / S was founded by Herman Anker in 1920. The company served as a sales organization for the Kværner Ovenstøperi and three other foundries, according to the book "Rich in traditions: Jøtul 1853-2003".

In 1927, the company was bought by the grandfather of the leader of Ap Jonas Gahr Stores, Johannes Gahr. He started an economic recovery and rescued the company from bankruptcy. Later, the name Kværner was also removed.

Under the management of Gahr, the company switched from hand-held ovens to assembly line production. The special years of war were economically beneficial to the company, which, for example, produced furnaces to heat the supports built by the Germans.

In 1977, Jøtul was sold outside the Gahr family to the Norcem industry.

Since 2006, Jøtul belongs to the Swedish company Ratos until they entered into an agreement with OpenGate Capital to sell their shares in the Norwegian furnace manufacturer.


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