Wallenius Wilhelmsen starts temporary layoffs in USA and Mexico

Oslo, 25 March 2020 - As governments, industry and individuals are pulling together to fight the spread of the coronavirus, the impact is being felt across supply chains. In line with automaker plant closures Wallenius Wilhelmsen is suspending operations at several landbased processing centres, starting temporary layoffs for about 2500 production workers in the USA and Mexico.

"While we work diligently to avoid reductions in our workforce, we have no choice but to respond to the disruption experienced by our customers and the effect it has on our operational throughput and income," says Craig Jasienski, President & CEO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

The temporary layoffs now started, amount to a little more than half of the company's production workforce across the USA and Mexico. Developments will be continually reviewed, and activities adjusted in line with customer decisions and market developments, with a focus on returning employees to work when business rebounds.

"The Coronavirus has created unique issues, pressures and challenges for businesses around the world. We recognize and remain sensitive to the challenges many employees and families are facing during these uncertain times. Still, I remain confident that making some hard but responsible decisions today, is a far better course than waiting and having to make bigger and harder decisions later. We will continue to hold that mantra as matters develop," continues Mr Jasienski.

Going forward Wallenius Wilhelmsen is taking decisive steps to handle the current situation and prepare for challenging times ahead. Earlier this week the company announced the cancellation of dividends for 2019, together with plans to reduce capacity through a combination of redelivery of chartered vessels to tonnage providers, early recycling of up to four vessels and cold-lay-up of up to 10 vessels.

Given the situation and to preserve cash until there is more certainty, management has reduced capex spend to a minimum, prioritizing safety and maintenance critical expenditures.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to progress and mitigating actions by authorities evolve quickly. We continue to actively monitor the situation and its ongoing effects on the global supply chain. Our focus continues to be the health and safety of our employees, the continuity of our operations and working with our customers for the best possible solutions in difficult times.

About Wallenius Wilhelmsen The Wallenius Wilhelmsen group (OEX: WALWIL) is a market leader in RoRo shipping and vehicle logistics, transporting cars, trucks, rolling equipment and breakbulk around the world. The company operates around 125 vessels servicing 15 trade routes to six continents, and a global inland distribution network, 120 processing centres, and 11 marine terminals. The Wallenius Wilhelmsen group consist of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions, EUKOR and ARC. The group is headquartered in Oslo, Norway with 9 400 employees in 29 countries worldwide. Read more at walleniuswilhelmsen.com

For further information, please contact: Astrid Martinsen, Head of Group Treasury & IR Tel +47 958 45 255 email: astrid.martinsen@walleniuswilhelmsen.com

Anna Larsson, Head of Corporate Communication Tel: +47 484 06 919 email: anna.larsson@walleniuswilhelmsen.com

Source: NewsWeb