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Atlas Copco to cut more jobs as demand falls

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Concerned the downturn may stick around for a while, engineering company Atlas Copco will cut more jobs and implement a raft of cost saving measures.

Atlas Copco said order intake for its mining and excavation business fell 21 percent year-on-year and were also down compared with the initial months of 2013.

The company said about 200 million crowns or about $AUD330 million of mining orders were cancelled in the last quarter.

The company is forecasting demand for its mining drill rigs and loaders will continue to drop in the short term, especially as miners forge on with austerity measures and commodity prices remain soft.

Reuters reports both Atlas Coco and fellow Scandinavian competitor Sandvik, which together supply over half of all underground mining equipment globally, have experienced sharp equipment order declines.

But Atlas is heavily exposed to the gold sector, which accounts for around one third of its mining business, and the dropping gold price is making business harder.

The tougher market conditions are forcing the Atlas to cut an unconfirmed number of workers.

"It's a pity but we will reduce the work force all over in the organisation for mining," Atlas Copco's CEO Ronnie Leten told Reuters.

"We adjust as we go. I don't like revolutionary, one-off adjustments.”

Leten did confirm there would be no cuts from sales and R&D staff.

He explained that mining equipment alone only accounted for 7 to 8 per cent of its business, and the company expects overall demand for all of its product and services to remain unchanged in the short term.

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