WSP Global sheds 500 Canadian jobs, cites softness in oil and gas sector

MONTREAL – Engineering firm WSP Global says it has eliminated 500 positions because of a slowdown in Canada’s oil and gas sector.

The Montreal-based company said the job cuts since the end of 2014 are part of a string of cost-cutting steps it took to offset an anticipated decline in revenues from Western Canada.

WSP’s Canadian revenues surged 59 per cent to $173.3 million in the first quarter, mainly from acquisitions and organic growth in Quebec and non-oil and gas operations in Western Canada.

Despite the job cuts, the company employed 6,000 workers across the country as of March 28, up from 4,400 a year earlier.

WSP Global (TSX:WSP), which last October acquired New York-based international engineering and consulting firm Parsons Brinckerhoff in a US$1.3-billion deal, has 31,000 employees around the world.

The company earned $28.3 million or 32 cents per share in the first quarter. That compared with $17.3 million or 33 cents per share in the 2014 quarter.

Excluding one-time costs, adjusted profits were $31.8 million or 36 cents per share.

Net quarterly revenues surpassed $1 billion for the first time, reaching $1.02 billion, up from $440.6 million a year ago.

The growth was mainly due to strong growth in the Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East, India and African markets and, to a lesser extent, in the Americas.