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TransCanada reveals job cuts hit about 10% of its work force

A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota November 14, 2014.

Andrew Cullen/REUTERS

TransCanada Corp. has revealed that job cuts hit about 10 per cent of its work force late last year, and the company's executives say layoffs at the pipeline and power company might not be over yet.

Speaking during a conference call regarding fourth-quarter results on Thursday, chief financial officer Don Marchand said the company cut approximately 10 per cent of its 6,000-person work force – with the percentage jumping to 20 per cent at the senior ranks. He said TransCanada will push to find further efficiencies in 2016.

"I wouldn't say we're done at this point," Mr. Marchand said in response to a reporter's question about further downsizing.

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The company also said federal government changes announced last month to the review process for proposed pipelines, including the TransCanada's contentious Energy East project, could result in further delays for the $15.7-billion cross-country crude conduit. Paul Miller, TransCanada's executive vice-president for liquids pipelines, said the company is still assessing the impact of the federal changes.

"We're still targeting 2020 but I think it's fair to assume with an extension of the regulatory process, it may translate into a delay in bringing Energy East into service."

In reporting its fourth-quarter results on Thursday, TransCanada reported a net loss, primarily as a result of a $2.9-billion after-tax, non-cash impairment charge related to the U.S. denial of a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. The company's net loss in the last three months of 2015 was $2.5-billion, or $3.47 a share, compared with profit of $458-million, or 65 cents a year earlier.

The U.S. rejection of the pipeline has prompted TransCanada to file a $15-billion (U.S.) trade lawsuit for costs and damages.

On Thursday, the company also increased its dividend by 9 per cent.

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