Keppel cuts 8000 jobs as profits slump
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. –