Finning's Vancouver branch to cut 500 workers in Canada

Finning's Vancouver branch to cut 500 workers in CanadaFinning International will cut 500 employees this year, representing 9% of the company's Canadian workforce, because of "soft market conditions."

Finning is headquartered in Vancouver. The company got its selling equipment for the forestry industry, but in recent years mining and oil and gas have become important sectors for Finning.

"In order to maintain profitability during soft market conditions, we are taking steps to align our cost base and invested capital to reduced demand, similar to the actions we took in South America a year ago," said Scott Thomson, CEO of Finning International, in the company's fourth quarter report.

"As part of our efforts to reduce costs inCanada, we will reduce our workforce by about 500 employees – roughly 9% of our Canadian workforce. While this is a difficult decision, it is a necessary step to adjust to expected business levels."

Mark Breukels, vice-president of investor relations for Finning, recently told Business in Vancouver that the Alberta oil sands account for $1 billion in sales annually (about one-seventh of the company’s annual revenue) and that a scaling back on new oilsands projects is likely to affect sales.

“You’re seeing that a lot of these oil and gas producers and contractors [are] announcing reductions in capital expenditures,” Breukels said, “so dealers like us are likely impacted by those types of decisions, as capital expenditures would often include equipment.”

In 2013, outgoing Finning CEO Mike Waites told BIV that copper mining in South America was a high-growth area for the business. However, the company recently cut jobs in its South America division as well.
With files from Nelson Bennett | [email protected] | @jenstden