Thompson Aero Seating reduces losses after shedding 565 jobs inside two years

Thompson Aero Seating in Portadown cut 565 jobs between 2019 and 2021, new accounts show.
Thompson Aero Seating in Portadown cut 565 jobs between 2019 and 2021, new accounts show.

PORTADOWN aerospace manufacturer Thompson Aero Seating has reported significant losses for last year despite cutting hundreds of jobs.

Accounts filed with Companies House by the Chinese owned aircraft seat specialist show its workforce was cut by 565 people between 2019 and the end of 2021.

Reducing the manufacturer’s headcount from 1,188 to 623 over 24 months effectively cut the firm's staff costs in half from £51m to £26m.

And while that helped reduce the aerospace firm’s losses in 2021, it still ended last year with losses of £25.5m.

It brought the total losses across 2020 and 2021 to just under £87m.

The north’s aerospace sector took the full brunt of the Covid-19 impact on aviation during 2020.

Demand for products such as Thompson Aero’s premium business-class and first-class seats all but collapsed in the wake of the pandemic.

Thompson Aero’s revenues initially fell 27 per cent from £181m in 2019 to £132m in 2020.

But the knock-on impact on new orders contributed to an even sharper fall last year, with revenues plunging another 58 per cent year-on-year to £55m.

The Portadown business was acquired by state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China in 2016.

The biggest fall in 2021 revenues came in the company’s Asia and Pacific business, which dropped by 71 per cent year-on-year to £18.5m

Business in the rest of Europe halved to £10.3m, while revenues from North America dropped by 48 per cent to £18.9m

In commentary published alongside the accounts, Thompson Aero Seating’s directors said the significant fall in revenue was the result of airlines deferring orders.

The directors said the financial picture in 2021 had somewhat been brought under control “through careful cost control including in a further reduction in the company’s headcount”.

Thompson Aero said an “aggressive transformation programme”, code named ‘Project Phoenix’ continues within the company.