Gilbert Sedbon/PARIS

SNECMA HAS embarked on a new cost-cutting plan, including further job losses, in the face of mounting losses at the French state-owned engine maker.

"We're still in a deep crisis which is expected to last for another two or three years," said new chairman Bernard Dufour at his first public press conference since taking over at Snecma in October 1994.

The full scale of losses in 1994 has not yet been revealed, but Dufour says that they will be worse than the Fr804 million ($152 million) deficit posted in 1993. The engine maker has not made a profit since 1990. Group sales have also continued to edge down, falling by another 4.6% in 1994 to Fr10.4 billion.

In an effort to stem the losses, Snecma is planning to shave around Fr1 billion from its costs over the next year, which will include the shedding of another 500 jobs from its workforce of 12,155.

Dufour sees little prospect of an upturn in the civil-engine business, which accounts for around two-thirds of Snecma's revenues, largely through the CFM International joint venture with General Electric. Deliveries of CFM56 engines fell from 700 to 500 in 1994 and the production rate is expected to drop to 400 in 1995 and 1996.

Source: Flight International