Harland and Wolff to Consolidate Operations

Monday, October 07, 2002
Harland and Wolff Group PLC has confirmed that, against the backdrop of prevailing market conditions, it is to consolidate future operations into a single technically-led, project management organization. Accordingly, the company has entered into formal consultation with the relevant Trade Union officials in connection with the issuing of a 90 day protective notice of intention to effect a redundancy program (an HR1) covering 265 core employees (197 operators and 68 staff). It is the intention to have the workforce reductions completed by mid-January 2003. Despite the financial constraints of its current circumstances, the Company will seek to offer the best available redundancy package to individuals and, to that end, aims to implement an enhanced voluntary redundancy package. Following a successful sea trial, the RoRo vessel Hartland Point shall shortly be delivered. Production activity shall then focus on commissioning and sea trials of the second RoRo vessel, Anvil Point, due for delivery in early 2003. While the company is pursuing future business opportunities on a number of fronts in line with its business plan in order to create a competitive company with a sustainable future, it has been unable to secure sufficient firm workload to maintain current employment levels. A degree of workload has been secured in the ship repair sector and discussions are ongoing in relation to potential renewable energy, structural steelwork and further technical services opportunities. However, in the prevailing global economic and specific market conditions, where many shipyards across Britain and Europe are facing a downturn in business and contracting accordingly, there are few opportunities to secure substantial contracts in the offshore and ship completion markets In the future, the organization will focus on an expansion of its technical consultancy services, which encompass the marine, offshore and structural engineering sectors, and on targeting contracts in the renewable energy, structural steelwork and ship repair sectors, which will be executed on a project management basis. In addition, when market conditions are more conducive, the company shall continue to pursue marine and offshore contracts, where these are compatible with the resources of the company.

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