GKN, the British automotive and aircraft engineering company, has announced that it will close plants and cut more than 1,400 temporary positions worldwide.

Third quarter pre-tax profits fell by £4m and the company expects its fourth quarter profits to be below mid-year forecasts following growing uncertainty in the automotive sector.

In response, the company said that it would scale back capital expenditure from 1.2 times depreciation last year to 0.7 times for next year. The five per cent reduction in staff and restructuring plans are hoped to mitigate pre-tax results, predicted to be 20 per cent down on 2007.

The Redditch-based group employs approximately 2,500 staff in its UK automotive operations.

Its aerospace division remains strong, however fourth quarter revenues may be weakened by around eight per cent if the strike at Boeing’s commercial aircraft facilities continues until the end of the year.

GKN said its plan to buy parts of Airbus’s Filton site near Bristol remains on track for completion in January 2009.