German steel giant to slash 11,000 jobs

Thyssenkrupp's loss-making steel division that is a target for UK buyer is struggling to compete against cheap imports and lower demand

German industrial giant Thyssenkrupp is cutting a tenth of its workforce - some 11,000 jobs - as its steel operations continue to bleed cash.

The company announced on Thursday a further 7,000 positions were going, raising the total number of jobs it is eliminating from that set out in a restructuring plan in the summer that includes selling off smaller business.

Thyssenkrupp is struggling to compete against imports of cheap steel from China and Asia, leaving it with excess production capacity and the pandemic reduces demand.

British-based industrial conglomerate Liberty is attempting to buy Thyssenkrupp’s steel business.

The company controlled by entrepreneur Sanjeev Gupta says a tie-up would create synergies that would end losses and take up unused capacity at the German powerhouse.

Martina Merz, the third chief executive at Thyssenkrupp in less than two years, warned that restructuring would be “more painful than the previous ones - but we will have to take them”.

She added: “We will have to move further into the ‘red zone’ before we have made Thyssenkrupp fit for the future.”

Last year the EU blocked a merger between Tata Steel and Thyssenkrupp on competition grounds, leaving the German business to seek alternatives.

It is in talks about a potential sale of its steel operations to Swedish rival SSAB, and is also in discussion with the German government about a state aid package.

The redundancies are scheduled to run over three years. Thyssenkrupp forecast it will run up a full-year loss of more than €1bn (£900m).