06/02/2009 - 11:40

Clough cuts WA staff in restructure

06/02/2009 - 11:40

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Staff numbers at the Western Australian arm of engineering contractor Clough will be cut by around 45 as part of restructure plans to ensure operational effectiveness.


Staff numbers at the Western Australian arm of engineering contractor Clough will be cut by around 45 as part of restructure plans to ensure operational effectiveness.

In a brief statement this morning, Clough said it will cut a total of some 70 employees from operations in both Perth and Bangkok.

Chief financial officer Andrew Walsh said the staff cuts should be seen as a "responsible response to the economic climate".

"This [staff cuts] is a relatively minor change," Mr Walsh told WA Business News.

"We will look to place as many of those people who are displaced through this process into the other parts of our activities."

He stressed the company was not looking to reduce the size of workforce, saying Clough is still looking to recruit people.

Over the past six months, Clough has filled 498 vacancies. The company has around 1500 employees in WA according to WA Business News' Book of Lists.

The staff reduction is part of Clough's restructure plans, which Mr Walsh said has been ongoing for a number of years.

"We have a number of business lines in the company which can duplicate tasks, so our intention is to do things once," he said.

"You could ask why haven't we done that in the past.

"Well we've been getting there in a staged process and we feel now is the time we can make it just one company here in Australia.

"We have to maintain profitability, that's what the restructure is about."

For the 2008 financial year, Clough reported a net profit of $67 million, a turnaround from the previous year's net loss of $105 million.

The company's interim results are out on February 19.

Meantime, Mr Walsh said there had been no change in status in relation to Clough's terminated onshore and offshore contracts for the Reindeer gas project.

Earlier this year, Apache Energy and Santos signed a deal to supply gas from Reindeer to CITIC Pacific's Sino iron project in WA.

In December, the JV partners had deferred the development of the project on the back of adverse changes in the global economic outlook.

Shares in Clough were down 2.5 cents to 29.5c at 15:45 AEDT.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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