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Billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which recorded its worst financial results ever in 2008, will cut manufacturing jobs and close facilities as the recession deepens.
Bloomberg.com reported that Elkhart, Ind.-based Forest River Inc. was one of numerous Berkshire companies facing cutbacks.
Berkshire, which lists more than 70 operating businesses in its latest annual report to shareholders, also cut jobs at brickmaker Acme Building Brands, paint manufacturer Benjamin Moore and R.C. Willey Home Furnishings, according to Bloomberg.
In addition, Berkshire reduced the number of employees at Clayton Homes Inc., which builds manufactured housing, by 16% last year to 11,998. Shaw Industries, the largest U.S. carpet-maker, cut 6.2% of its work force and employed 28,974 at year-end, Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire said in its annual report.
“Berkshire’s operating companies have taken and will continue to take cost reduction actions in response to the current economic situation, including curtailing production, reducing capital expenditures, closing facilities and reducing employment to partially compensate for the declines in demand,” the firm said in a regulatory filing yesterday.
“Buffett can’t be Social Security,” said Justin Fuller, a partner at Midway Capital Research & Management who runs the buffettologist.com Web site. “The demand for some of those products fell way off. The RV business is probably at a complete standstill.”