LEM has decided to establish a new low-cost production plant in Sofia, Bulgaria. LEM expects to ramp up production in Bulgaria beginning in October 2013. The company intends to invest CHF 2 million into the new site. The goal of LEM Bulgaria is to diversify LEM's low-cost production and increase production capacity close to its European customers.
At the same time, LEM will improve the natural hedge of its operations by better matching currencies of sales and cost. The new plant, which will be established in a leased property in Sofia, occupies 4,500 square meters of floor space. LEM intends to invest CHF 2 million to equip the site and expects to start production in October 2013. In an initial phase, LEM Bulgaria will hire 50 employees for the new production plant.
The new site is to absorb a major part of LEM's future growth. As a continuation of a strategy initiated in 2004, LEM will continue to relocate production lines from the plants in Machida, Japan and Geneva, Switzerland to low-cost countries. Over the next years, the operations in Japan will be significantly reduced and concentrate on the local Japanese market. In Switzerland, the operations will be progressively reduced and focused on high complexity / high precision products for worldwide markets. In parallel, LEM's site in Switzerland will be reinforced with continued investment in R&D and marketing.
FranÃ§ois Gabella, CEO of LEM, comments: "The opening of the new production plant in Bulgaria will be a major milestone for LEM's development. With the new plant we will not only increase competitiveness but we will also considerably reduce foreign exchange risk for the group."