December 17, 2008 / 8:25 PM / 10 years ago

Finning cuts more than 500 jobs, sees weaker demand

TORONTO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Finning International Inc (FTT.TO), the world’s largest Caterpillar (CAT.N) equipment dealer, said on Wednesday it is cutting more than 500 jobs as it scales back operations to meet weaker demand in 2009.

The company also said it it would no longer provide detailed profit forecasts.

Finning said it had let go of about 265 employees in Canada and 260 in Britain. Prior to that, it employed over 12,800 people in six countries, according to the company’s website. It also said it is closing or merging 22 of its British rental depots.

As a result, it said one-time restructuring charges will show up in its fourth-quarter and first-quarter results.

“With the financial upheaval, commodity price declines and slow down in business activity our business, like many others, has been negatively impacted,” said Mike Waites, president and chief executive of Finning, in a statement.

“However, we are working very hard to manage the business given these changing conditions and outlook.”

Finning said it would no longer provide explicit annual earnings per share guidance for the upcoming year.

Even so it said it expects lower new-equipment sales in its Canadian and British dealerships and little change in South America.

Customer support revenues are expected to grow in both the Canadian and South American operations, and to be little changed in Britain.

A company spokesman could no be immediately reached for comment. (Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Frank McGurty)

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