Rolls-Royce axed 1,300 jobs to combat tough trading

The Rolls-Royce factory in Rotherham
The Rolls-Royce factory in Rotherham
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ROLLS-ROYCE revealed it has cut 1,300 jobs as part of its plan to combat tougher economic conditions as customers opt to delay or cancel orders.

The company, which has major bases in Bristol and Derby, said the majority of the jobs have come from its UK and US workforces. It employs 25,000 staff in Britain and 55,000 worldwide.

The move is part of the firm’s strategy, announced in November, to cut a total of 2,600 jobs over the next 18 months.

It adds that most of the remaining 1,300 job cuts will be made this year, and will again largely fall on UK and US workers in its aerospace divisions.

The firm said most of the UK losses came at its Derby civil aerospace site, which employs 12,000 staff, and its Bristol plant, which employs 3,500 in defence engineering roles. A spokesman for Rolls-Royce said the job losses include engineers and administrators.

In February Rolls-Royce reported its first fall in revenues for a decade as underlying sales for 2014 fell 6 per cent to £14.6bn, hit by defence spending cuts and falling commodity prices. Its underlying profits were 8 per cent lower at £1.62bn over the same period.

The firm said it was opening more efficient plants in the UK, which needed fewer people to run them.

This year it opened a factory in Rotherham, which manufactures turbine blades and launched a site in Bristol to develop carbon fibre fan blades.

The firm also said today that around £350m will be wiped from its 2015 revenues because the pound has strengthened against the euro and Norwegian kroner, although it has weakened against the US dollar.

It said it does not expect these foreign exchange translations to impact its annual profits.

Last month the firm was buoyed by its biggest-ever order when Dubai-based airline Emirates signed a contract worth £6.1bn for Trent engines to power 50 Airbus A380 super jumbos that will enter service from 2016.

It also announced that chief executive John Rishton’s had decided to stand down.

He will be replaced by Warren East, who transformed chip designer ARM Holdings into a global firm responsible for the technology behind nearly all mobile phones and many other electronic devices.