Imtech cuts jobs, takes more charges on German business

Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:23am EDT
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By Anthony Deutsch

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Imtech IMUN.AS said it would cut 1,300 jobs, or about 4.5 percent of its global headcount, and make more writedowns on its German operations, in a sign of escalating trouble at the Dutch engineering company.

Total costs related to financial irregularities still being investigated in Germany and Poland rose by 70 million to 370 million euros ($482 million), Imtech said in a trading update about the problems, which forced it to postpone its results.

Shares fell 7 percent in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

Imtech said most job cuts would be in Germany and the Netherlands, with about a 10 percent reduction in staff numbers.

It said it would take a one-time charge of 80 million euros for the restructuring, which chief executive Gerard van de Aast said would bring financial benefits in 2013 and 2014.

Imtech surprised markets in February when it replaced its chief financial officer, canceled dividend payments, dropped sales targets and postponed the release of its earnings just a day before their scheduled publication.

It also launched an emergency cash call of 500 million euros and said it would write down 300 million euros on German and Polish projects after discovering irregularities.

Brokerage KBC Securities on Tuesday downgraded Imtech to sell, and cut its price target to 8 euros from 12.5 euros.   Continued...