Kep­pel cuts 8000 jobs as profits slump

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

SIN­GA­PORE-BASED Kep­pel Corp has cut around 8000 jobs as weak en­ergy prices ham­mered profits at the world’s largest oil rig builder.

Se­nior man­agers have also taken vol­un­tary pay cuts and there are plans to trim direc­tors’ fees as the con­glom­er­ate an­tic­i­pates fur­ther cuts, the com­pany said.

The “painful mea­sures” are aimed at cush­ion­ing the im­pact of slug­gish de­mand for drilling rigs as firms world­wide cur­tailed spend­ing oil and gas ex­plo­ration.

Kep­pel chief ex­ec­u­tive Loh Chin Hua said it had slashed its work­force at its off­shore and marine busi­ness by 26 per­cent, over the nine months to Septem­ber.

Kep­pel said group net profit for the July-Septem­ber pe­riod fell 38pc from the pre­vi­ous year to S$225 mil­lion (US$162 mil­lion) af­ter net profit in its off­shore and marine busi­ness plunged 93pc.

In the first nine months of the year, the group’s year-on-year net profit was down 43pc to S$641 mil­lion, hit by a 69pc profit de­cline in the off­shore busi­ness.

“The oil ma­jors are ex­pected to con­tinue to hold back on off­shore ex­plo­ration ex­pen­di­ture,” Mr Loh said, adding that Kep­pel is re­tool­ing its rig-mak­ing tech­nol­ogy for other uses like build­ing float­ing power and de­sali­na­tion plants as it con­tin­ues to di­ver­sify. –

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