Troubled waters as 85 more boat jobs to go
LUXURY yacht builder Fairline Boats is set to axe another 85 jobs despite announcing its trading performance “has continued to improve”.
The beleaguered Oundle-based business, which shed 75 staff following its acquisition by private equity firm Better Capital last July, said it had met its monthly financial targets during this period.
However, while sales are forecast to increase by 15 per cent in 2012, this improvement falls short of the original forecast as the company still sees little growth in its European markets which it says is a trend that is likely to continue.
To protect its profitability and capability to invest in the competitive market, Fairline has started a month-long period of consultation which may lead to 85 job losses, of which 65 are direct and 20 indirect.
A spokeswoman refused to clarify what direct and indirect job losses were.
She also refused to reveal which Fairline site would bear the brunt of the losses but union leaders claim the losses will go at Oundle and Corby.
Chief executive officer Alistair Schofield said: “This regrettable action will ensure the business is sized appropriately to deliver the expected sales volumes into 2013 and beyond.”
In January 2012, the company said it had “turned the corner” in stopping losses and was confident about future production.
At the time it had a forward order book 10 per cent up on the same period the previous year and would account for 50 per cent of production in 2012.
The then interim chief executive officer Peter Williamson sounded a note of caution saying there was still a long way to go.
At the time he said: “Fairline is now debt-free and we don’t anticipate there being any job losses in the short term. The general theme is one of good improvement on a troubled business.”
The decision was slammed by Corby and East Northamptonshire MP Louise Mensch who said she will seek meetings with senior management and the unions.
She added: “I am very disturbed to hear this and I don’t like the casual way it has been announced in an email.
“If it was losing money one could understand it but they are making a profit. I think it’s a mistake and I condemn it.”
The proposed 85 job losses will cut staff down to about 700. At its height before the financial crash in 2008 Fairline employed about 1,500 people.
It is planning major investment in the coming years boosting production from eight types of craft to 14.
It plans to launch two boats at the Southampton Boat Show 2012 in September and a 45ft boat in 2013.
WIVES and partners of volunteer firefighters were wined and dined at an event in Peterborough.
Eighty-five people attended the Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade Ladies’ Night Dinner at the Bull Hotel in Peterborough.
Among the guests invited to the dinner on April 20 were the Mayor of Peterborough cllr Paula Thacker and Littlehey prison governor David Taylor.
The brigade’s Chief Officer Tony De Matteis said the dinner has been held annually for more than 30 years and it is their way of thanking their wives and partners for their support.
He said: “It is to thank them for putting up with us when the alert goes off and we have to run off to answer the call and leave them stranded in shops and restaurants.” top table: David Taylor, Mandy Taylor, Sue Tolomeo, the Mayor’s Consort Cllr Ray Dobbs, Mayor Cllr Paula Thacker,matthew Nicholls, Chief Officer Tony De Matteis, Sue De Matteis, Aggie Cafano, Aurelio Pinto, Rossana Pinto, Sonia Nicholls and Jean Cafano. (METP-20-04-12PF302) Picture: PAUL FRANKS.
CUTS: A Fairline boat at the London Boat Show