Keller to cut 700 jobs worldwide

Aaron Morby 6 years ago

The world’s largest independent ground engineering specialist, Keller, is planning a major cost-cutting programme across its operations with the loss of 700 jobs.

Keller chief Alain Michaelis launches major streamlining and sharper managament controls plan
Keller chief Alain Michaelis launches major streamlining and sharper managament controls plan

The firm has been hit by big losses in its key Far East construction markets, and challenging Brazilian and South African markets.

In a trading statement this morning, Keller said the streamlining and business closures would lead to a £57m exceptional restructuring charge in its full-year 2018 results.

Restructuring cash costs in 2018 will be around £7m, offset by income from asset disposals in 2019 of around £5m.

Keller also announced today that it has successfully negotiated new debt facilities with banks totalling £375m.

Alain Michaelis, chief executive, said: “We are taking tough but necessary actions to reduce our cost base and exposure to unprofitable market segments, and we are also sharpening our control regime. 

“We continue to focus on improving operational performance and remain well positioned to address the long-term market trends in our industry.”

Last month the ground engineering specialist issued a profit warning that its business units operating most notably in Malaysia would post pre-tax losses of up to £15m. The losses came to light after managment changes at Keller ASEAN and Waterways.

Keller will now exit heavy foundations activities in Singapore and Malaysia, which it said had become highly commoditised and continue to see heavy competitive and pricing pressure.

These operations have a combined annual revenue of £60m and represented most of the expected 2018 loss in ASEAN.

This morning Michaelis also warned that growth in core European, Middle Eastern and North African markets had continued to be offset by challenging market conditions in Brazil and South Africa, reflecting the geo-political environment in those countries.

He said: “As part of our continued focus on the shape of our global capacity we are taking proactive measures to scale back our operations in these difficult markets, primarily though capacity reduction, whilst maintaining bidding discipline.”


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