Singapore conglomerate Keppel Corp is planning to add 1,800 staff this year at its offshore and marine business, the first time the company is hiring for the division after cutting thousands of jobs since 2015.
The slump in oil prices in 2014 and a global oversupply of drilling rigs had hit orders at the company's O&M division, but demand is slowly returning.
"With the expected increase in work flow as well as preparing for the upturn we would be looking to add to our (O&M) workforce this year," Keppel CEO Loh Chin Hua said at the company's results briefing. "And this would be the first time we are doing it since when we started rightsizing in early 2015," the CEO said.
Keppel said it planned to recruit about 1,800 full-time staff over the course of 2019, representing a 17 percent increase in the division's workforce.
Keppel, whose businesses range from rig-building to property development, cut back its global direct workforce in the division by about 25,400, or 70.1 percent, since the start of 2015 to 10,843 currently, according to the company.
Keppel reported a 40 percent fall in its first quarter net profit, mainly due to smaller property divestment gains versus the year-ago period.
($1 = 1.3549 Singapore dollars)
(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan. Editing by Jane Merriman)