All business areas in Havyard Group have been affected to a varying degree by the general downturn in the market in the oil industry. The Group has been working over time on rationalisation and restructuring in order to adapt to the new framework conditions. As a result of recent market developments and expectations of continuing low demand, the Group is now implementing further measures. Among other things, this will entail cutting the workforce by around 100 full-time equivalents. These job cuts are the result of both rationalisation of the operation of the company and an adjustment of the total production capacity.
From boom back to 'normal'
Like most companies in the maritime cluster, Havyard Group ASA has grown and increased its capacity in recent years. An extraordinary boom in the offshore industry since 2005 has been the biggest driver behind this growth. In addition to growing as a result of the general growth in the market, Havyard Group ASA has also grown by winning greater market shares and developing new products and market segments.
'This extraordinary boom has now become a market with little demand and extreme pressure on prices, especially as regards offshore vessels,' says Geir Johan Bakke, CEO of Havyard Group ASA. 'The downturn in the market is expected to last for a while, and we don't expect the next upturn to be as big as the last one either. That is why we are continuing the process of restructuring and rationalising the business areas in the Group. Our goal is to ensure our profitability in the long term and secure jobs by adapting to the market and improving our competitiveness. We are far from the only company in Norway that is facing this challenge. The rest of the world had to take action in order to adapt to the situation after the financial crisis in 2008, while Norway has to some extent been shielded from its effects by high oil prices and political measures. The drawback is that our competitiveness has been weakened in relation to the countries we compete against, and when the market falls, we are extra vulnerable. It is not too late to do something about this, and I strongly believe that Havyard, the maritime industry and other industries in Norway that are exposed to competition will restructure and become competitive again. In Havyard, these processes have long been ongoing and we see opportunities as a result of our having gained a foothold in other markets than the offshore market. Fish, aquaculture and windfarm service vessels are markets where there is still demand and where Havyard's business areas that have products aimed at these markets are in a more favourable position. We also believe that the offshore market will bounce back and are optimistic on behalf of both Havyard and the industry in the longer term,' concludes CEO Bakke.
New focus areas: Havyard hopes that other markets, such as fisheries, aquaculture and renewable energy, will help to compensate for the downturn in the offshore market. Here represented by a Havyard 832 SOV that is operated by ESVAGT on Siemens windfarms. PHOTO: Siemens AG
Restructuring is demanding
The upcoming downsizing of the workforce will involve all business areas in Havyard Group, but the biggest cuts will be in Havyard Ship Technology and Havyard Design & Solutions. The number of employees will be reduced in most of Havyard's locations.
'Extensive restructuring measures of this kind are difficult for both the company and the workforce,' says Frank Levi Kvalsund, HR Director of Havyard Group ASA. 'It is particularly difficult for those directly affected by the cutbacks, of course. We nonetheless hope that people will understand that these measures are necessary to ensure the company's profitability and to secure jobs going forward. We will do our utmost to ensure that the restructuring process is carried out in the best possible way, both for those who have to leave and for those who will remain with the company.'
'The reduction in the number of employees is being carried out in close cooperation with the trade unions and through both natural wastage and redundancies.
The process of specifying how many and who will be made redundant is currently ongoing, and those affected will be informed in the near future. In cooperation with the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), Havyard will offer help with job seeking, further education and other measures,' says HR Director Kvalsund.