Profits down, but jobs safe: Caltex

Caltex claims it will not axe jobs as it cuts costs after recording $258 million drop in profits

By Brad Gardner

Fuel giant Caltex claims it will not axe jobs as it goes about cutting costs after recording a $258 million drop in profits.

Caltex, which was hit hard by the dramatic fall in the value of the Australian dollar last year, has pledged to reduce expenditure and debt levels, but not workforce numbers.

A spokeswoman for the company says Caltex will strive for a "modest" expenditure program than in recent years while also ensuring all operations run as efficiently as possible.

"There are no plans to cut jobs as part of our focus in these areas," the spokeswoman says.

Caltex Managing Director Des King last week spoke of the need to "focus on cost control, cash flow and debt management".

Caltex recorded a $186 million after tax profit, down from $444 million in 2007 in its full-year results.

The rapid fall in the value of the dollar was responsible for a $210 million drop in profits, which suffered in value on the back of the global financial crisis.

Problems at Caltex’s Kurnell and Lytton refineries were also blamed for the profit slump, with the latter responsible for a Queensland-wide fuel shortage after its diesel hydro-treating unit failed.

The spokeswoman says the Kurnell refinery suffered from a faulty cat cracker, but the problem is expected to be fixed next month.

"Both refineries are currently running as per normal," the spokeswoman says.

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