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October 7, 2002

Downsizing at Harland & Wolff

Northern Ireland's Harland and Wolff Group PLC says that, "against the backdrop of prevailing market conditions, it is to consolidate future operations into a single technically-led, project management organization "

The company today entered into formal consultation with union officials in connection with the issuing of a 90 day protective notice of intention to effect a redundancy program covering 265 core employees (197 operators and 68 staff). It is the intention to have the workforce reductions completed by mid-January 2003.

Following a successful sea trial, the RoRo vessel Hartland Point will shortly be delivered. Production activity will then focus on commissioning and sea trials of the second RoRo vessel, Anvil Point, due for delivery in early 2003.

While Harland & Wolff says it is pursuing future business opportunities "on a number of fronts," it has been unable to secure sufficient firm workload to maintain current employment levels.

Some work 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. But, in current conditions,"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. When market conditions improve, Harland & Wolff will "pursue marine and offshore contracts, where these are compatible with the resources of the company."

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