Northern Ireland

Harland and Wolff posts 'unacceptable' losses

Harland and Wolff stopped shipbuilding in 2003
Image caption Harland and Wolff stopped shipbuilding in 2003

Harland and Wolff has posted "unacceptable" losses of £5.9m, with trading conditions described as being "very difficult".

The Belfast engineering firm saw turnover slide from £67m in 2015 - when it was in profit - to £8m in 2016.

According to its accounts, it was hit hard by a downturn in the offshore oil and gas sectors, with companies either delaying or cancelling work.

During 2016 its permanent core workforce dropped from 170 to 115.

Harland and Wolff stopped shipbuilding in 2003 and its more recent work has included refurbishing oil rigs and manufacturing sections of off-shore wind turbines.

Last November, it landed a £20m contract with wind farm developer Scottishpower Renewables.

However, in its accounts for 2016, the firm said it was a challenge to secure larger contracts against "aggressive competition".

In documents lodged with Companies House, Harland and Wolff said: "The company continues to have adequate financial resources to address the current market challenges."

It added that contracts for 2017 are "only at circa 60% of what is required", but business is being pursued "vigorously" in the marine and renewables market.

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