UPDATE 1-Finland's Outokumpu scraps divestment, will cut up to 100 jobs

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HELSINKI, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Finnish stainless steel maker Outokumpu said on Tuesday it planned to cut up to 100 jobs as it launched a turnaround program at its long products business unit instead of divesting it.

In February Outokumpu started a review of the loss-making division, which makes steel bars, wire rod and wire for the oil, chemical and engineering industries.

The unit made an adjusted loss of 7 million euros ($8.2 million) before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2019 on net sales of 642 million euros and, in the first half of 2020, an adjusted EBITDA of -5 million euros on net sales of 289 million, the company said.

Outokumpu has mills making long products in the English city of Sheffield, the United States and Sweden.

“The turnaround program will be started immediately with personnel measures that might lead to a reduction of approximately 100 positions,” the company said.

The company also plans to improve the unit’s operational efficiency and to expand its product mix to focus on higher value specialty grades.

Outokumpu appointed Finn Heikki Malinen as its new chief executive officer in April and announced its new leadership team on Tuesday, adding its strategy for the whole group would be published on Nov. 5. ($1 = 0.8573 euros) (Reporting by Anne Kauranen; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens)