Hurtigruten Undergoes Reorganization

Hurtigruten, the Norwegian coastal voyage and expedition cruise company, has announced a company reorganization in a notice to the Oslo stock exchange. The effort is intended to make the company more efficient, resulting in annual savings of more than NOK 60 million starting in 2014.

The company attributed the reorganization to a need to create long-term profitability at a time when international market conditions are challenging.

The reorganization means a reduction in shore personnel in the range of 25 to 30 percent, effective March 31, 2013.  According to local press reports that means 30 to 40 employees will see their jobs eliminated.

Offices and service functions will be merged into new headquarters in Tromso; the Narvik office will be closed down.

The statement said that Hurtigruten will focus more on the hotel services and restaurants aboard its ships to drive earnings. It also said that a separate crewing company will be established, but did not elaborate.

Hurtigruten is also working to make its operations more efficient outside of Norway, including Spitsbergen. What is considered non-essential properties will be sold.

Hurtigruten has not yet posted results for the full 2012, but had accumulated net earnings after the first three quarters, compared to a reported a loss for 2011, down from net earnings in 2010, but losses in 2009 and 2008.

Hurtigruten, which runs ships 365 days a year between Bergen and Kirkenes, sells its voyages as cruises with modern ships, as well as transportation for the local population. Thus, the company receives subsidies from Norway to maintain its transportation services.

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