Morgan Crucible axes jobs

Windsor-based engineering group Morgan Crucible is planning to cut more than 1,100 jobs worldwide over the next year, in an attempt to reverse a decline in profits. The group is continuing to restructure, to focus on more lucrative carbon and ceramics businesses. Some 800 jobs will go following disposal of MRO, which makes up a […]

Windsor-based engineering group Morgan Crucible is planning to cut more than 1,100 jobs worldwide over the next year, in an attempt to reverse a decline in profits.

The group is continuing to restructure, to focus on more lucrative carbon and ceramics businesses. Some 800 jobs will go following disposal of MRO, which makes up a large part of its chemical products operations, for £174.3m.

Sales of other businesses within the division are being negotiated. The firm is to withdraw from power industry products and some silicate activities.

A further 300 jobs will go across Morgan Crucible’s operations by December. The group will then have reduced its workforce to about 13,000, with 2,000 job losses in the past two years.

Annual savings of £20m are expected following the restructuring.

Goodwill written off from disposals has added an exceptional £57m cost to the bottom line, bringing pre-tax profits for the year to January 4 1999 crashing to £33.9m from £112.1m.

Pre-exceptional profits fell more than 15% to £91.1m, as forecast. Turnover was slightly up at £900m.

Profits were hit by a drop in Far East markets, and tough US trading conditions, including the GM strike and a decline in chip manufacture, for which Morgan Crucible is a supplier.

Group chief executive Ian Norris said: ‘Many of the factors that impacted on trading last year have not persisted into 1999.’ Some Asian markets showed signs of recovery, he added.

The group also revealed it will seek shareholder approval to buy back up to 14.99% of its ordinary shares. The shares closed down 3p at 247p.

The MRO disposal is still subject to shareholder approval.