Rolls-Royce Marine announces additional job losses

Posted on 7 Oct 2015 by Jonny Williamson

Rolls-Royce has announced plans to reduce the number of employees in its marine division by a further 400 worldwide by the end of next year, on top of the 600 job cuts declared in May.

Citing the continuing impact of the sharp fall in oil prices and the subsequent fall in orders, the marine marque has said that it will to continue to transform its marine business, primarily through a programme of efficiencies and increased investment in R&D.

Adjustable bolted propeller for Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier (photo Rolls-Royce)
Adjustable bolted propeller for Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier (image courtesy of Rolls-Royce).

Rolls-Royce president – marine, Mikael Makinen commented: “After many years of strong performance through to 2013, led by good growth in the oil and gas sector, our order book and profitability have been adversely impacted by the sharp and subsequently prolonged drop in the price of oil.

“This is a fundamentally strong business, but we have to take decisive action to position it for future growth, with a structure that is simple, efficient and effective. At the same time we will sharpen our focus on the marine technologies of tomorrow by significantly increasing our current rate of investment in research and development.

“Reducing our workforce is never an easy decision, but the continued weak oil price, and the need to become more competitive, means it is necessary, if we are to build a strong base from which we can successfully grow this business in the future.”

In total, Rolls-Royce Marine employs around 5,800 people across 34 countries, and hasn’t stated whether any one country will be particularly hard hit by the cuts.

According to the BBC, a company spokesman said that the cuts will mainly be in “management and back office roles”.

The cuts are expected to generate full year savings somewhere in the region of £40m.

In November last year, Rolls-Royce announced that it would be cutting 2,600 jobs over the coming 18 months, with the majority coming from its aerospace division.

At the time, its chief executive John Rishton commented that the measures announced “would not be the last” as Rolls-Royce moved towards becoming a “stronger and more profitable company.”