GKN wielding the axe again

Posted on 5 Aug 2009 by The Manufacturer

The British owned global engineering company GKN has announced another 1,200 employees are to be cut from its global operations after revealing a £16 million pre-tax loss for the first six months of 2009.

The performance compares with a £118 million profit for the first half of last year.

GKN has already reduced its staff numbers by 2,500 this year, including 564 jobs lost in the UK. None of this latest round of job losses will affect the firms 6,000 UK staff though, it is understood. By the end of 2010 GKN says it will have closed 13 sites across the world.

The Redditch head-quartered company revealed its cost-cutting exercises are beginning to have a positive effect on the firm’s fortunes, with its automotive division returning to growth in June.

And despite the troubles facing the world aerospace industry, the military aircraft plant in Filton that GKN bought from Airbus in a £150m deal late last year has so far performed better than the firm’s expectations. The civil market remains weak though and GKN expects revenues from this end to be down 20-30 per cent at the end of the year.

Its off-highway division – supplying vehicle machinery for the agriculture, construction and mining industries – is also struggling and was 34 per cent down from January to the end of June.

Sales in the first six months of 2009 for GKN as a whole were down nine per cent to £2.1bn.