WSP Global cuts 450 Canadian jobs this year, including 250 in third quarter

MONTREAL – WSP Global has laid off 450 Canadian employees since the beginning of the year, including nearly 250 in the third quarter.

The Montreal-based engineering company (TSX:WSP) has been cutting staff in response to the persistent economic weakness in western oil producing provinces and delays in the awarding of federal infrastructure contracts.

The reduction in the third quarter — about half of which affect its operations in Western Canada — represent about three per cent of its 8,100 Canadian workforce.

Most of the departures follow the end of summer contracts, said WSP vice-president Isabelle Adjahi.

After purchasing seven Canadian companies in the past two years, she said WSP is now taking the time to integrate the firms in its global operations.

She said the company hopes to hire staff once Ottawa speeds up infrastructure spending.

The company is also planning to cut costs across the country by consolidating offices, which Adjahi said shouldn’t result in additional layoffs.

During the quarter, WSP Global’s overall revenues grew 3.3 per cent to $1.52 billion, including $238.8 million in Canada.

Net earnings attributable to shareholders grew 25.6 per cent to $63.3 million, or 63 cents per share.

Excluding one-time items, adjusted profits were $77.2 million or 77 cents per share. That compared with $74 million or 81 cents per share a year earlier.