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More furnaces may close in O-I streamlining effort

MIAMI Top executives of Owens-Illinois Inc. told investors Monday that the Perrysburg bottle manufacturer is about halfway through its two-year effort to streamline and modernize its production, and may shut down an additional 10 to 15 furnaces this year.

Ed White, O-I's senior vice president and chief financial officer, told investors at Barclays Capital Industrial Select conference here that an effort to take out 10 furnaces in 2008 reduced its payroll by 1,000 jobs and produced $100 million in annual savings. He said the firm will continue to move production closer to its customers, citing last year's consolidation in California and New Zealand.

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