Thyssenkrupp slashes more jobs as pandemic bites

BERLIN (AFP) – Troubled German industrial giant Thyssenkrupp yesterday said it was slashing 5,000 more jobs, taking total cuts to 11,000 as the coronavirus pandemic takes a massive toll.

The group, which employs more than 100,000 people, announced the layoffs over three years.

The group also forecast a full year loss topping EUR1 billion (USD1.2 billion) on the heels of a EUR5.5 billion deficit for the fiscal period that ended in September.

The news cast a shadow on EUR9.5 billion (USD11.2 billion) in net profit largely down to the EUR17.2 billion sale in February of its lucrative elevator division.

The group showed an adjusted operating loss for 2019-2020 of EUR860 million as COVID-19 weighed heavily with the firm already having embarked upon a vast restructuring operation.

“The coronavirus pandemic is a massive stress test for Thyssenkrupp. Our top priority remains the protection of our employees and our businesses,” said Chief Executive Officer Martina Merz.

“Despite the headwind, we have achieved important milestones in the transformation of the group,” Merz said in a statement.

But she added, “We’re not yet where we need to be. The next steps could be more painful than the previous ones. But we will have to take them.”

The group said 3,600 jobs have already been shed so far this year.

Sales fell 16 per cent in 2019-2020 to EUR35.4 billion and left the group indicating it was loking for partners to help shore up steel operations.

In the past year steel operations saw an adjusted operating loss of EUR946 million.

Britain’s Liberty Steel, founded and led by Sanjeev Gupta, made an offer for the group’s steel activities last month.

There have also been discussions with Sweden’s SSAB and India’s Tata Steel.

Unions are pushing for state participation in the group’s capital.

Thyssenkrupp shares, which have lost almost 60 per cent over the year, were off almost four per cent in early trading.