04/28/2015 14:02 EDT | Updated 06/28/2015 01:12 EDT

TransAlta cutting workforce in Canadian coal unit in effort to reduce costs

CALGARY - TransAlta Corp. (TSX:TA) says it's cutting its workforce in its Canadian coal generating unit by 20 per cent as it works towards trimming annual costs by about $12 million.The Calgary-based power producer started the cost-saving initiative in January and says a "large part" of the savings are already begin captured.TransAlta says 164 positions were eliminated as a result of the reorganization, but only 27 were full-time. The rest were through attrition, retirements and reassignments.It incurred about $7 million in restructuring costs in the first three months of 2015.TransAlta's first-quarter net income fell nearly 45 per cent to $26 million from $47 million a year earlier.Revenue for the quarter was $593 million, down 18 per cent from $775 million during the same period in 2014.