PPC, to post solid 1Q results, recruiting after years of exits

Power utility PPC is set to recruit new technical staff after a number of years of personnel issues dominated by exits prompted by voluntary exit offers, early retirement packages and departures.

A total of 200 new recruits will be brought in for the utility’s technical departments, now understaffed, based on more flexible employment terms implemented in 2019, which do not guarantee new staff members permanent job status.

PPC subsidiary DEDDIE/HEDNO is severely understaffed, as was highlighted during an emergency situation last February, when a heavy snowstorm damaged power supply lines around the country and caused outages, some of these lasting a number of days.

At the end of 2020, DEDDIE/HEDNO’s workforce had shrunk to 5,700, from 6,000 at the end of 2019. Also, earlier this year, in February, the operator launched a new voluntary exit program for employees eligible for full pension rights.

PPC, the parent company, had 13,832 employees on its payroll at the end of 2020, down from 15,109 a year earlier, 7,113 of these employed at PPC, approximately 5,700 at DEDDIE/HEDNO, and 1,000 at other group subsidiaries.

PPC is aiming for a payroll of 11,500 employees by 2024, according to company announcements.

Besides the company’s retirement and voluntary exit programs, a portion of personnel, such as workers at the lignite-based units being withdrawn, is being transferred to other departments, a procedure requiring vocational retraining.

Meanwhile, PPC is today expected to announce satisfactory 1Q results. Analysts have forecast an operating profit figure of 211 million euros, up 16 percent compared to the equivalent period a year earlier.