British engineering firms announce jobs culls

Posted on 26 Feb 2009 by The Manufacturer

Tomkins, the British engineering firm with a strong presence in automotive, has announced it will close 15 plants around the world and layoff 2,500 employees, after announcing a £5.3 million pre-tax loss for 2008.

And heating engineers Bodycote are also making cuts – 1,500 from the closure or consolidation of 31 sites, representing 20 per cent of its workforce. Its ‘goodwill impairment – read redundancy pay out – will be £31 million.

Tomkins chief executive Jim Nicol said: “We have taken and will continue to take quick and decisive action to right-size the business for current market conditions.”

In 2007 the company had made around £370 million profit.
Bodycote chief Stephen Harris said: “In response to the difficult economic and trading environment, the business is being restructured to ensure it remains strong throughout the downturn and is well positioned to benefit when trading conditions improve. The focus of the restructuring is to both drive down the cost base of the business while at the same time reshaping it to concentrate on those areas that present strong growth opportunities for the future.”

Though the automotive market is weak, Harris said the other main industries Bodycote serves – aerospace, power generation and oil and gas – “remain steady”.