UPDATE 1-Voestalpine aims to save 900 mln euros over three years

Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:11am EDT

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* Plans no job cuts or plant closures

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* Shares rise more than 5 percent (Adds details and background)

VIENNA, March 18 (Reuters) - Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine aims to save 900 million euros ($1.3 billion) over three years via an efficiency programme it announced on Tuesday.

It said cuts would affect all four of its divisions but did not envisage reducing staff or closing plants.

The plan was more ambitious than the market had expected, sending the company's stock up 5.7 percent to 32.115 euros by 1300 GMT, the biggest gainer in a flat STOXX Europe 600 basic resources index.

Analysts said last month the company had flagged a two-year cost-savings plan that they expected to be worth around 500 million euros.

Voestalpine, which is battling steel market oversupply and weak demand from the energy sector, had told analysts on a conference call it would most likely announce such a plan in the second half of March.

Voestalpine's latest 620 million euro savings scheme is coming to an end.

($1 = 0.7180 Euros) (Reporting by Alexandra Schwarz-Goerlich; Writing by Michael Shields; Editing by David Evans and David Holmes)

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