Keppel Offshore and Marine cuts another 1,250 staff

Singapore’s Keppel Offshore and Marine continues to deal with the offshore downturn with ruthless cost cutting, announcing further reductions in staff numbers in its first quarter results report.

Keppel said it has reduced its workforce by a further 1,250 during the last quarter, around 6%, with total job losses now close to 18,000 since the beginning of 2015.

The job cuts come in addition to other efforts to rightsize, including the mothballing of two overseas yards and the closure of three supporting yards in Singapore. Additionally, Rotterdam yard Keppel Verolme was sold to Damen earlier this month, with the transaction expected to be finalised in the next two months.

Keppel Offshore and Marine could only manage to break even last quarter, a fall it attributes to lower volumes of work. Meanwhile, parent company Keppel Corporation posted a net profit of S$260m ($185.9m), up 23% on the first quarter last year.

According to Keppel, its headcount has now reached an appropriate level for the amount of work it has in its yards, although it wouldn’t rule out further job cuts saying it would continue to monitor market conditions and explore ways to achieve further cost savings.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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