It is a new plan of layoffs which comes to grow a list which does not stop growing. More than a thousand jobs eliminated, including 350 in France, where a plant in Seine-Maritime will be closed: the industrialist Vallourec, still heavily penalized by the pandemic and in debt, announced on Wednesday November 18 a new series of measures to strengthen its competitiveness.
Vallourec, a French specialist in seamless steel tubes and dependent on a hydrocarbon market which has contracted sharply since the start of the health crisis, had already announced in the first half of the year the elimination of 900 jobs in North America, c that is to say one third of the staff in the area. From now on, it plans to cut 1,050 more jobs, out of nearly 19,000 employees worldwide.
For France, the restructuring plan provides for the elimination of 350 jobs, particularly in production units, including the closure of the Déville-les-Rouen plant.
Anger at “a huge mess”
Joined by France Bleu Normandie, the mayor of the town, Dominique Gambier, evokes a “Drama” for the metropolis, which thus loses one of its “Flagships”. “It’s a real shock for our territory”, also said in a press release Damien Adam, deputy (La République en Marche, LRM) of the 1re constituency of Seine-Maritime, evoking “Nearly 190 employees” thus concerned and saying he is determined to ” do everything “ so that the site “Finds an activity with an industrial vocation taking up a maximum of jobs”.
“The disappearance of the company weakens the industrial ecosystem of the metropolis a little more” de Rouen, deplored the president (LRM) of the departmental council, Bertrand Bellanger, while the mayor of Rouen and president of the Rouen-Normandy metropolis, the socialist Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol, expressed his “Anger” facing a “Huge mess”, claiming that “These announcements constitute a major industrial shock” for the metropolis, “Which cannot remain unanswered”.
Elected officials from the Hauts-de-France region and several municipalities where Vallourec is present also reacted to express their vigilance “On jobs at the industrial sites of Aulnoye-Aymeries, Saint-Saulve, as well as the support site of Valenciennes”.
In Germany, the group expects 200 fewer jobs and reductions in working time. Finally, in Brazil, 500 positions will be eliminated in support functions.
These measures follow a third quarter which saw the group’s turnover fall by a third to 716 million euros, while the net loss widened slightly to 69 million euros (compared to 60 million a year ago).
636 million euros loss
Results “In line with our expectations”, commented the Chairman of the Management Board, Edouard Guinotte, insisting on the “Resistance capacity” from Vallourec. The group thus announced the renewal for five years of its framework contract with Total, following the extension in July of the partnership with Petrobras.
But the very sharp drop in demand on the oil and gas market, particularly in North America, and the decline in activity in industrial sectors in Europe were only partially offset by a good quarter in Brazil. .
In total, deliveries were almost halved in one year, to 319,000 tonnes. And the economic context remains “Very uncertain”, underlined Mr. Guinotte. However, the group maintained its financial outlook for the 2020 financial year.
In the first nine months, sales fell by a quarter, to 2.4 billion euros, and the group recorded a net loss of 636 million (against 227 million for the same period of 2019).
In this context of activity severely penalized by the health crisis, which slowed down economies and reduced demand for hydrocarbons, Vallourec began negotiations with its creditors this fall to restructure its debt, which stood at 3.5 billion euros at the end of September.
On Tuesday, the group said it was aiming to reduce its debt by just over 50% through a capital conversion, thus diluting current shareholders, as the company’s stock market plummeted. by 98% in ten years.
“Negotiations with creditors are just starting”, said Mr. Guinotte, who wants to succeed ” as soon as possible “, and in any case before next February, the date of the maturity of credit lines in the amount of 1.7 billion euros.