The shipbuilders of the RRS Sir David Attenborough is in its fifth year of losses, according to the latest publicly available financial documents, resulting in job cuts being made.
Cammell Laird, based in Birkenhead, has reported a pre-tax loss of £4.4 million for the fiscal year ending Saturday, April 2, 2022, compared to losses of £7.5 million the previous year.
The company last made a profit in 2017 when it reported a pre-tax profit of £7.4 million.
Cammell Laird’s turnover fell from £126.7 million to £94.4 million in the year, according to newly filed documents with Companies House.
The company said its revenue dropped because it had two Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels in its shipyard for the majority of the previous fiscal year and work on the RRS Sir David Attenborough was “substantially completed” during the previous 12 months.
The average number of people employed by the company was reduced from 693 to 571 during the year as a result of the redundancy process, which was completed in May 2021.
On the job losses, the business said: “The main objective of the process was to secure the on-going employment of the remaining workforce and support the many hundreds of jobs which exist in the supply chain.”
“The company aims to grow its apprenticeship scheme and offer vital opportunities to local young people and adult apprentices, helping to develop essential skills for the future.”
“This is a key plank in the strategy to ensure that Cammell Laird has a workforce that can adopt and absorb future technology.”
“The new management team did not take the resulting decision lightly. The company worked closely with the unions and no compulsory redundancies were required, with 146 employees accepting voluntary redundancy.”
It went on to say that in September 2022, it hired 42 new apprentices and reached a pay agreement with the unions.
A statement signed off by the board said: “The year ending 2 April 2022 has seen the fifth consecutive year of losses; the majority of these have been caused by the major new build project, the RRS Sir David Attenborough.”
“This was the third year of the two 10-year contracts to support the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), which on signing were estimated to generate £619m of revenue.”
“However, these activities have been overshadowed by the continuing financial performance of the business.
“The group is working hard to return to profitability and has made underlying profess in the year under review.”
During the year, the company also worked on the RFA Tidesurge, the BAE Systems Dreadnought Submarine programme, the HMS Dauntless, and the HMS Daring.
Cammell Laird began working on the RRS Sir David Attenborough, a Polar Research Vessel, again for Natural Environment Research Council, in October 2016.
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Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, work was delayed, and “further engineering and design challenges” delayed the formal handover until November 2020.
The business conducted out more work during the period under review and the vessel left this same shipyard on Thursday, July 1, 2021.
Cammell Laird added: “A number of design, production and supply chain issues have arisen on the project which has resulted in a significant increase in the actual and projected costs.”
Source: Business Live