Montreal engineering conglomerate SNC-Lavalin says it will cut 4,000 jobs over the next 18 months in an attempt to streamline operations and save $200 million.

"SNC-Lavalin plans to scale back certain underperforming activities and adjust, consolidate and streamline some of its operations and corporate structure to improve efficiency, effectiveness and competitive positioning," the company said in a statement.

Part of that will be the loss of about 4,000 jobs, three-quarters of which will be from outside Canada, the company said.

"While we remain committed to maintaining a leadership position in mining, a major global slowdown in the sector has created a ripple effect through other industries, and is combining with a general economic slowdown, particularly in [Brazil, Russia India and China]," CEO Robert Card said.

SNC-Lavalin has offices in more than 50 countries and about 45,000 employees worldwide, so the cuts represent about nine per cent of their total workforce.

The cuts come as the company is working to repair the damage to its reputation after it was revealed the company had made some illegal payments in some countries to secure work. A number of ex-employees have seen jail time.

The job cuts were also announced as part of the company's Thursday release of the latest quarterly results, which showed improvement from a weak three-month period last year.

SNC-Lavalin turned a profit of $69 million, or 45 cents per share, as investments in major infrastructure businesses and a reduced loss from engineering and construction activities.

The quarterly profit compared with a loss of $72.5 million, or 48 cents a share, in the comparable period a year ago.