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Oilpatch downturn takes toll on Wajax; equipment distributor cuts workforce

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – The Wajax industrial equipment business says it’s reorganizing its operations in the face of a downturn in Western Canada’s energy sector, resulting in a 10 per cent reduction of its workforce over a two-year period that began in early 2015.

Wajax Corp. says weakness in oil and other commodity prices continued to have a negative effect on its customers in all sectors including construction, mining, and oil and gas.

Its announcement came in its latest financial report, which showed the Mississauga, Ont.-based company had a $33.3 million net loss in the fourth quarter, equal to $1.66 per share. That compares to a profit of $11.2 million or $0.67 per share in the same period in 2014.

Overall revenue from the fourth quarter was $324.4 million, down from $386 million a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings after eliminating restructuring and other items was $4 million or 20 cents per share, down from $11 million or 65 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The company didn’t say how many people will be affected by the job cuts, but previously disclosed information shows that Wajax had about 2,725 employees at the beginning of 2015, suggesting about 270 jobs will be eliminated due to the restructuring.