BP announces 9,000 more redundancies

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BRITISH Petroleum, the beleaguered oil giant, is to reduce its workforce by another 9,000 over the next three years, it emerged yesterday, writes Neil Thapar.

The new round of cuts follows 11,500 already announced by BP last August that will be made worldwide. At the end of last year, BP had a total workforce of 115,000. As a result of the latest move this number will fall by about 20,000 by the end of 1993.

The news caused some surprise in the City. Last month David Simon, BP's chief executive, denied that the company had plans to further reduce its workforce.

But US analysts attending a company briefing last Monday were told that additional cuts would be made due to difficult trading conditions.

A BP spokesman said that about 4,500 jobs from the new target would be lost through the disposal of non-core businesses. The balance represented 'actual redundancies'. However, the cost of the job losses has not been disclosed.

BP has already set aside about pounds 400m against the costs of its earlier redundancy programme.

In a separate move, the company announced the closure of a manufacturing plant at its Baglan Bay petrochemicals complex in South Wales. The plant has an annual production capacity of 50,000 tonnes but has been unprofitable in the past few years.

The closure will result in 40 job losses, to be achieved through voluntary redundancy over the next two years.

BP shares closed unchanged at 224p yesterday.