- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Graco Inc. said Wednesday it will cut an additional 180 jobs, or 8 percent of its global work force, to reflect a drop in demand for its fluid handling systems and components.

The Minneapolis-based company previously eliminated 150 jobs in December.

Graco President and Chief Executive Patrick McHale said incoming orders for the company’s first quarter so far are 40 percent below orders in last year’s comparable period.

Graco said the job cuts, which should be complete in April, are expected to lower the company’s cost structure by $9 million a year. The company expects to take a pretax charge of $4 million for severance costs during the first quarter.

“Graco continues to be committed to making strategic investments in new product development, distribution expansion, new markets and strategic acquisitions,” McHale added in a statement.

Graco shares dipped 5 cents to $18.50 in aftermarket trading, after gaining $1, or 5.7 percent, to close the regular session at $18.55. The stock has traded between $14.17 and $42.20 during the past 52 weeks.

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