Trucking firm Mullen Group reports 1,000 layoffs as pandemic slows economy

Trucking firm Mullen Group reports 1,000 layoffs as pandemic slows economy

Trucking firm Mullen Group reports 1,000 layoffs as pandemic slows economy

CALGARY — Trucking, logistics and oilfield services firm Mullen Group Ltd. says it has temporarily laid off about 1,000 people because of the impact of measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chairman and CEO Murray Mullen says the Calgary-based company was outperforming its year-earlier performance until mid-March, when demand for its services turned lower.

He says there’s been a sharp decline in the demand for discretionary consumer goods as well as in commodity-based industries but its less-than-truckload and large diameter pipe transport businesses are doing well.

Mullen says the company has established a $5-million family assistance fund to help staff affected by the downturn.

The company reported net income of $4.7 million or four cents per share on revenue of $318 million in the three months ended March 31.

That’s down from net income of $11.6 million or 11 cents on revenue of $320 million in the first quarter of 2019.

“The bottom line is that this health crisis is hurting a lot of people,” Mullen said in a statement.

He added: “We will see business decline, perhaps quite significantly in the short-term, however, I believe we will weather this crisis and come out of it stronger.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 22, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:MTL)

The Canadian Press

CALGARY — Enerplus Corp. is shutting down oil wells and again cutting its capital spending plans due to low crude prices linked to measures taken to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an announcement two days after benchmark U.S. oil futures prices fell into negative territory for the first time in history, Enerplus says it will cut another $25 million to take its 2020 capital budget to $300 million.

The reduction and a previous one announced in mid-March leaves it at about 55 per cent of its original budget of $545 million.

West Texas Intermediate oil prices strengthened Wednesday, rising by more than 20 per cent from a settlement price of US$10.01 per barrel on Tuesday. They are still down more than 75 per cent since Jan. 1.

Enerplus says it has begun to temporarily shut-in certain wells across the Williston basin in Montana and North Dakota, as well as in its Canadian operations.

It says it expects April production to be modestly impacted by shut-ins and will average about 88,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Deeper cuts to production are expected in May.

“The unprecedented impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the excess global oil supply, poses significant challenges for our industry,” said CEO Ian Dundas in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 22, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ERF)

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly stated the percentage reduction in the Enerplus budget.

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