The company that built the RRS Sir David Attenborough has made a loss for a fifth year in a row, new documents show.
Birkenhead-based Cammell Laird has posted a pre-tax loss of £4.4m for the 12 months to April 2, 2022, compared to losses of £7.5m in the prior year.
The last time the company was in the black was when it reported a pre-tax profit of £7.4m in 2017.
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The newly-filed documents with Companies House also show that Cammell Laird's turnover dropped from £126.7m to £94.4m in the year.
The business said its turnover fell because it had two Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels in its shipyard for the majority of the previous financial year and the work on RRS Sir David Attenborough "being substantially completed" during the prior 12 months.
During the year the average number of people employed by the company was cut from 693 to 571 as a result of the redundancy process that was completed in May 2021.
On the job losses, the business said: "The main objective of the process was to secure the on-going employment of the remaining workforce and support the many hundreds of jobs which exist in the supply chain.
"The company aims to grow its apprenticeship scheme and offer vital opportunities to local young people and adult apprentices, helping to develop essential skills for the future.
"This is a key plank in the strategy to ensure that Cammell Laird has a workforce that can adopt and absorb future technology.
"The new management team did not take the resulting decision lightly. The company worked closely with the unions and no compulsory redundancies were required with 146 employees accepting voluntary redundancy."
It added that it recruited 42 new apprentices in September 2022 while a pay agreement was reached with the unions in the same month.
A statement signed off by the board said: "The year ended 2 April 2022 has seen the fifth consecutive year of losses; the majority of these have been caused by the major new build project, the RRS Sir David Attenborough.
"This was the third year of the two 10-year contracts to support the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), which on signing were estimated to generate £619m of revenue.
"However, these activities have been overshadowed by the continuing financial performance of the business.
"The group is working hard to return to profitability and has made underlying profess in the year under review."
Over the year the company also carried out work on the RFA Tidesurge, BAE Systems' Dreadnought Submarine programme, HMS Dauntless and HMS Daring.
Cammell Laird started work on the RRS Sir David Attenborough, a Polar Research Vessel for the Natural Environment Research Council, in October 2016.
Work was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and "further design and engineering challenges" mean that the formal handover did not happen until November 2020.
The business carried out further work during the year under review and the vessel left the shipyard on July 1, 2021.
Cammell Laird added: "A number of design, production and supply chain issues have arisen on the project which had resulted in a significant increase in the actual and projected costs."
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