16 Nov 2011

Fletcher Building shedding jobs

6:53 pm on 16 November 2011

Fletcher Building says it is shedding hundreds of jobs in New Zealand and Australia, although it has not given a precise figure.

At its annual general meeting in Auckland, the company reaffirmed its forecast of lower profits in the first half, because of weak construction activity.

It says profits are expected to fall 10% to about $150 million.

Chief executive Jonathan Ling says the company has been cutting costs, and this has included the loss of 22 construction jobs in Wellington, and a reduction in hours for part-time staff at Placemakers.

"At the moment there's more redundancies than we'd normally have in tough markets, although we are expecting a small upkick in new housing in the early part of the calendar year and also ... in Christchurch we're still increasing the workforce."

Mr Ling says Fletcher Building employs some 20,000 staff, and what is happening now is nothing like the situation in 2009 when about 5000 people lost their jobs.