Alpiq slashes 450 jobs as profits drop

Swiss energy supplier Alpiq has announced it will cut 450 jobs, around half of them in the country, as it seeks to improve its bottom line.

This content was published on November 4, 2011 - 09:00 and agencies

The company said on Friday that net profit fell more than half to SFr180 million ($205 million) during the first nine months of the year. In 2011, profit was SFr421 million over the same period.

Alpiq added that the market environment had deteriorated significantly in Europe over the past two years. The strong Swiss franc has also had an impact on the firm’s revenue.

By reorganising its activities, it aims to reduce operating costs by around SFr100 million and to cut its debt by up to SFr2 billion through divestments and reduced shareholdings.

"These sweeping measures are necessary in order to restore the financial balance and return to growth,” said company chairman Hans E. Schweickardt in a statement. “We want to use the current difficult situation to prepare Alpiq effectively for the future with its new market and boundary conditions.”

Most of the lost jobs will be in trading, international sales, administration as well as in central and regional support units. The organisational structure has also been streamlined.

Besides focusing on its core business of power generation, Alpiq said it intends to expand its renewable energies sector as well as its energy efficiency business in the coming years. It currently employs 10,800 people in Switzerland and abroad.

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