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18 July 2008

Kier Group adds to construction industry woes with 350 job losses

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by Kay Mitchell

Kier Group adds to construction industry woes with 350 job losses

Kier Group, the construction, housebuilding and maintenance company, has announced it is shedding around 350 staff in its residential division.

The cuts represent 60% of the 625 workers in the division. It is the latest company to suffer as a result of the housing market slump.

In the last fortnight, housebuilders including Persimmon, Barratt’s, Bovis and Redrow all announced job losses due to the housing slowdown while Wolseley, the world’s largest distributor of plumbing materials, announced further job losses as a result of the housing slowdown.

Furthermore, JCB, one of the largest construction equipment manufacturers in the world, has announced 650 job losses this week. The company has experienced a severe fall in demand for its products.

Kier Group said it sees no let-up in the housing recession for the next 18 months as it confirmed it is closing offices at Borehamwood, St Neots and Spalding and Glasgow.

In the last year alone, the group’s completions have plummeted by around 20% with the situation deteriorating significantly in the last few weeks.

In a statement, the company said the market is tough and it is very cautious on the outlook for 2009 and is taking the necessary steps to cut its cost base.

In early trading today, shares in the group lost 2.1% at 891.5p, valuing the company at £296 million.


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