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Wärtsilä to cut 1000 jobs despite Q4 profit hike

Wärtsilä today announced that it would be cutting 1000 jobs in response to market volatility, despite steady profits of EUR520m ($710m) in 2013.

While profits in the last three months of 2013 jumped to EUR201m, making it the most profitable quarter of the year, Wärtsilä president and ceo Björn Rosengren said that redundancies “cannot be avoided”. The downsizing will result in 200 job cuts in Finland, the company’s home country.

Although Wärtsilä showed strong performance in the shipping sector, with “significant improvement in the marine markets during 2013, and ordering… active in all major vessel segments,” according to Rosengren, as well as expectations of stable performance throughout 2014, the company reported that overcapacity and price pressure threatened to increase volatility in the shipping market.

"In an environment of slow growth and intense competition, we must take steps to adjust our cost structure accordingly,” said Rosengren. “Only by increasing the efficiency and flexibility of our organisation globally can we secure profitability and maintain competitiveness going forward."

“Our market outlook for 2014 remains cautious, although a slight improvement may be seen in certain areas. Based on our current order book and project pipeline we expect some growth in net sales during 2014.”

The cuts will bring Wärtsilä’s workforce to 17,663 staff in 70 countries.

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