Bermuda Gas To Make 14 – 21 Staff Redundant

June 4, 2015

Saying they have “decided to focus exclusively on its core business,” Ascendant Group today [June 4] confirmed the “closure of two of the Bermuda Gas lines of business,” which will result in the redundancy of a number of staff members, which they said is “likely to be between 14 and 21 people.”

A statement from the company said, “Ascendant Group Limited today reported that subsidiary company Bermuda Gas would return to a gas-focused business model that would see it exit the retail appliance sales and service lines of business.

Ascendant Group Chief Executive Officer, Walter Higgins, explained: “Bermuda Gas began as a propane gas supply company in 1936 and, since that time, the Company has expanded into the areas of retail appliance sales, parts and repair services.

“Following a comprehensive review of the Company’s operating model, Bermuda Gas has decided to focus exclusively on its core business, the sale and delivery of propane gas in bulk and cylinder sizes to commercial and residential customers, and service to commercial customers. This should improve operational efficiency and increase customer satisfaction in the process,” Mr. Higgins said.

“In May of this year, Ascendant Group issued its 2014 Earnings Release advising that the Group continued to grapple with the effects of Bermuda’s prolonged economic recession, rising health care costs, and increased competition across all lines of business. Bermuda Gas has not been immune to these factors,” the statement from the company added.

“The closure of two of the Bermuda Gas lines of business will result in the redundancy of a number of staff members. The total number of Bermudians impacted is not yet known as there are a number of employees who are eligible to take early retirement, others who will be transferred within the Group, and a further number who may choose to become self-employed contractors.

“The final number is likely to be between 14 and 21 people. The Company will offer a redundancy package to all affected individuals and will assist them during this transition. The Bermuda Government Department of Workforce Development’s services will be available to affected Bermuda Gas employees.

“Bermuda Gas will retain an optimal number of skilled and experienced staff to meet the operational needs of this revised business while maximizing productivity in a safe, secure working environment.”

“It should also be noted that Bermuda Gas intends to honour its appliance warranties and customers may expect to hear from the Company in connection with their warranty options,” according to Mr. Higgins.

“Further information about operational changes will be forthcoming by Bermuda Gas.”

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Comments (52)

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  1. Mockingjay says:

    Thank God we have the America’s Cup to save us.

    • aceboy says:

      Thank God the PLP aren’t still in power.

      • Mockingjay says:

        Thank God U.B.P/oba have two to GO.
        LMFAO

      • Out of all the dumb asinine things you can say when people’s lives are thrown into oblivion, throwing around a political football just to get a statement made, is got to be by far the stupidest thing anyone can do.

        These people being made redundant could care less about any political party at this hour, their lives are put in a bed of uncertainty and only two that I know personally have a foundation that this will not really shake them, because they have longed provided for themselves and their family, and they have a very strong family support base which has gotten them to be as successful as they already are, but there are others that is not as fortunate and to that end, I would say your attack on the P.L.P or even the present administration is senseless and distasteful.

        so grow the heck up because it may not be to far down the road that your turn may come in more ways then one, and your dilemma be far worse, then who would be crying Wolfe then.

        • Huh? says:

          This is the most sensible thing said it this great long list of chatter.

        • aceboy says:

          I was merely commenting on MJ’s comment about the America’s Cup…because I very much doubt it would be coming to Bermuda if the PLP were still in power. These job losses would still be coming.

          They created the mess we are in…..businesses focusing on core business is a strategy that always arises when demand for goods and services decline….and that is what has happened here.

        • Zevon says:

          And yet you whine and complain about a project that would create jobs for 500 Bermudians.

    • Know Knot says:

      Mockingjay, if nothing else you are consistent. Consistently an idiot.

      I notice you always seem to be first in line to post comments. So, let me ask, is it because:

      a) you have no life
      b) you are spending your time at work -not really working
      c) you are a paid PLP blogger

    • MAKE MY DAY says:

      It’s going to take more that the America’s Cup – with ALL these business closures and redundancies!! This is a major up-hill climb for BDA!!

  2. boogiedownproductions says:

    So Ascendant Group is not sure of the Bda market so it gets rid of staff. These are the same group who are trying to raise out light bills and now they show their hand by staff redundancies. Look out you Belco Brothers and Sisters you could be next.

  3. Terry says:

    Oh thah “Ascendant” all right.
    Is this the same group that wants to up your BELCO bill or am I mistaken.

    I smell a rat.

  4. Casual Observer says:

    BELCo bit off to much then they could chew.

    Should’ve focused on your core operations from the beginning.

  5. Wow says:

    This is awful news. More people out of work!

    • Self says:

      How’s those 2000 promised jobs coming along?

      • jt says:

        Get back some of those 5000 expats that left and it’s an opportunity for someone.

        • Mockingjay says:

          Explain how that works.
          Tic Toc

          • Observer says:

            More people on island = more money… I’m really not sure why you PLP folks can’t understand that.

            • LiarLiar says:

              There is a reason that there was little to no unemployment when the PLP issued the most work permits in Bermuda’s history which also resulted in our highest GDP recorded.

              And there is a reason that our recession (depression?) has continued in lock step with our declining population.

              Show me one country in the world that has a declining population and a growing economy.

              Just one.

              More people = more economic activity = more money in economy = more jobs etc.

              It is basic economics folks.

          • Ed Case says:

            and work on your spelling while you are at it Mock.

          • jt says:

            More sales…more service…more jobs…more money.
            Imagine above in the shape of a circle…with some little arrows if it helps you out MJ.

        • LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL says:

          Get them back, yes, but you would still have Bermudians out of work.

  6. Bermyman says:

    Ascendant are like the devil incarnate

  7. Economist says:

    Does this mean our Belco bill will not go up?

  8. Will there be a clearance sale mon Ami?

  9. Lawry says:

    Very sorry to hear of the job losses – I really am. Having said that, their expansion into appliances was ridiculous in the first place and a total waste of shareholders’ money. As expected, smaller nimbler outfits like Joshua Bates Trading simply ate them alive. My personal experience suggests that very poor after sales service was also a big issue. I trust the genius who thought the whole thing up is one of the ones going – but somehow doubt it.

    p.s I should also add that their KitchenAid line is very second tier when compared to GE and other products.

    • Onion says:

      Nailed it. The Management’s empire building has been a disaster all around.

    • Know Knot says:

      Larry I was with you until the end, Kitchenaid is 2nd Tier compared to GE. You do realize that GE makes a variety of different lines, all branded as GE but of varying quality. TA few years ago they were sold as GE, GE Profile and GE Monogram series. All made by GE, but they are not created equal. Kitchenaid was part of the Whirpool group and the kitchenaid line was better than the standard line but equal or better than the Profile line.

      I was wondering if them pouring all that money into that building and fancy showroom would pay off during a recession.

  10. SS says:

    This is awful news.

  11. Navin Johnson says:

    Sorry Lawry but GE is nowhere near the quality of Kitchenaid

    • Lawry says:

      Have to disagree. I had terrible luck with KitchenAid, oven especially but custom fitted fridge too.

  12. Kangoocar says:

    I would like to personally thank the plp for these latest job losses!!!! When you you chase 5000 higher earners off the island, this is the net result!!!!!

    • Onion says:

      Meh. This just creates an opportunity for better run companies to move into the space.

    • Mockingjay says:

      Um, didn’t Ms Scott already tell you that blaming the P.L.P is old.
      LMFAO

      • Ed Case says:

        Old perhaps – but not predictable and boring like you Mock.

      • Zevon says:

        Yet you think nothing of complaining about things that happened centuries ago.

  13. St. D says:

    The BELCO rate increase plus closure of Bda Gas means that Ascendant has had to make tough decisions to remain viable for the long term. Not pretty. Hopefully the shift of their book of business to their competitors will mean jobs for some of the Bda Gas staff.

    • Family Man says:

      They need to spin-off Belco. No more using a profitable, regulated business to subsidize poorly run, wild ventures in other areas.

  14. pot stirer says:

    That company should not have been allowed to be formed. Surprise it lasted that long was only a matter of time. Eventually more will go from its other Businesses also.
    Sad news, the others that are still currently employed there should try now to get out, where there’s smoke there’s a fire.

    • Family Man says:

      Bda Gas was very well run and had excellent service many years ago before the Ascendant group brought them out.

  15. I actually wrote greed is the bane of business thank you…

  16. Fluent says:

    There is opportunity there for somebody!

  17. Serious Though says:

    this company seriously need new management ..

  18. The closure of two of the Bermuda Gas lines of business will result in the redundancy of a number of staff members. The total number of Bermudians impacted is not yet known as there are a number of employees who are eligible to take early retirement, others who will be transferred within the Group, and a further number who may choose to become self-employed contractors.
    Note:
    “The final number is likely to be between 14 and 21 people. The Company will offer a redundancy package to all affected individuals and will assist them during this transition.
    In May of this year, Ascendant Group issued its 2014 Earnings Release advising that the Group continued to grapple with the effects of Bermuda’s prolonged economic recession, rising health care costs, and increased competition across all lines of business. Bermuda Gas has not been immune to these factors,” the statement from the company added.
    What would / could anyone that’s business minded do other than take the steps being taken by Bermuda Gas? Please, read the complete article and then try to comprehend why they’re making this unfortunate transition. No-one in business can survive when their “layout exceeds their income.” and that’s the bottom-line

  19. Family Man says:

    In 2014 Belco itself made net income of $9,716,000 (an increase of 77% over 2013). All the other operations of Ascendant combined to make a LOSS of $3,828,000. See page 37 of their Annual Report.

    Of the group’s entire net income for 2014 – $0.53 per share, $0.44 was paid out as dividends to their shareholders. (page 40)

    After subsidizing the losses of their other businesses and paying out dividends only $0.09 per share is retained to invest in their business. Now they want a 20%-30% increase in rates to pump up the stock price for those executive stock options.

  20. bermudaglobetrottersdotcom says:

    The simpler the appliance, the better it works. #buyerbeware

  21. college student says:

    unplug your electronics / appliances all…..and especially your water heaters when not in use. you will see an increase in your pocket and not Belco’s.

  22. Fidel says:

    And their absolutely poor service was probably a major factor as well !!!!!!!!! Fact !!

  23. Tom Cooke says:

    My wife and I were looking at buying shares…when they where trading at $ 13.00…glad I did not…but If I was a major share holder I would ask the whole board to resign. ..trading at $5.00 I smell a forigen take over….

  24. Vote for Me says:

    The most significant post in this entire thread is from Family Man!!

    It speaks volumes that Belco are paying the majority of their income out as dividends but are still requesting rate increases for the services they provide.

    It is definitely time for the Regulators to take a more comprehensive look at Belco’s operations.

    It is also noteworthy that Belco has effectively take its profits based on regulated rates to venture into non core businesses that had to be subsidized

    Perhaps they should offer to sell Bermuda Gas as a stand alone entity!! I think their after sales service was excellent.

  25. overboardhope says:

    Who will pick up the excellent product lines that they carried. My sympathy for the staff.

  26. Alvin Williams says:

    A foreign take over; can the Canadians be far behind?