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Wärtsilä reacts to downturn with redundancies

Helsinki: Finnish engine giant Wärtsilä, which powers more than one in three merchant ships, is preparing for a bitter downturn, announcing today significant redundancies. Up to 450 jobs are to be slashed including around 80 in Finland. In April senior management at Wärtsilä said as much as EUR1bn of Wärtsilä's EUR6.5bn orderbook could be nixed as owners all over the world cancel ship orders. Wärtsilä says the redundancies will save the company EUR30m a tear.
'The situation in the shipping industry has changed dramatically during the past six months, and we have taken all possible measures to avoid job cuts," said Jaakko Eskola, Group Vice President, Ship Power.
"As the market outlook continues to be very challenging, we must find cost-saving measures that ensure the Ship Power organisation's ability to maintain its competitiveness and efficiency, while at the same time, not jeopardizing customer commitments, " Eskola continues.
Orders for Wärtsilä engines in the first four months were down 86% year-on-year, and EUR75m worth of contracts were cancelled in the same period.  [14/05/09]


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