Finning to cut up to 500 additional jobs in 2016, on top of 2015 downsizing

VANCOUVER -- Canada's largest Caterpillar heavy equipment dealer says it will cut 400 to 500 jobs from its global operations this year, on top of 1,900 that were announced last year in two separate rounds of downsizing.

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Vancouver-based Finning International Inc. (TSX:FTT) -- which also operates in South America and the United Kingdom -- says about 200 of the latest cuts are in Canada and the rest will be spread across its international operations.

Finning is grappling with the downturn in the oil and gas and mining industries, which are major users of the heavy equipment sold and serviced by the company in Western Canada and abroad.

It announced in November that it would lay off 1,100 people, or eight per cent of its total workforce at the time, including 440 in Western Canada.

The company's fourth-quarter results, which included the November announcement, showed revenue down 16 per cent from a year earlier -- to $1.52 billion from $1.8 billion.

Canada's share of overall revenue was $698 million, down 26 per cent from a year earlier. South American revenue fell 11 per cent to $526 million and revenue from the U.K. and Ireland was up 11 per cent to $294 million.

Finning reported a loss of $309 million or $1.82 per share for the last three months of 2015 compared with a profit of $107 million or 62 cents per share in the same period a year earlier.

Excluding one-time charges, Finning said it would have earned 23 cents per share in its latest quarter compared with a profit 55 cents per share a year ago.

Finning president and CEO Scott Thomson said the company had been able to generate relatively consistent earnings and cash flow by adjusting to the conditions, enabling it to maintain its dividends.

"Notwithstanding this progress, we are not immune to the challenges facing our customers across our key markets and geographies," Thomson said in a statement.

He said Finning is on track to meet its plan to reduce general sales and administrative expenses permanently by $150 million and it expects further savings from the workforce reductions announced Thursday.



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