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Nortel to cut 2,100 jobs amid slowdown

29 февраля 2008

Nortel, the Canadian telecoms equipment maker, on Wednesday said it would cut 2,100 jobs and relocate a further 1,000 employees as a “recessionary environment” in the US helped drag down sales in its fourth quarter.

Shares in North America’s biggest maker of telephone equipment had fallen 13.28 per cent to $9.93, the lowest in almost four years, by the close. The stock is down more than two-thirds over the past 12 months.

Nortel is suffering from slowing growth in the telecoms equipment industry as companies upgrade to wireless from traditional phones, and has been hit by economic weakness in the US.

Nortel reported a net loss of $844m, or $1.70 a share, compared with a net loss of $80m, or 19 cents a share, last year.

The results included a non-cash $1.04bn charge because of changes to the company’s tax profile in Canada, while a year ago the results included a $234m litigation settlement. Revenue fell 3.7 per cent to $3.2bn.

Nortel had previously said it expected flat revenues. Its sales were lower than forecast “partly [because of] the North American carriers’ space,” Pavi Binning, chief financial officer, said. But he blamed the miss mainly on the “recessionary environment” in the US.

Analysts expect the economy to continue to cause Nortel pain this year. “Given a more difficult macro-economic environment, we believe it will be difficult for Nortel to achieve any sales growth in
2008,” said Ari Bensinger, an analyst at S&P.

The company expects revenues in 2008 will rise in the low single digits compared with last year.

Nortel has struggled to recover from a 2004 accounting scandal that led to a series of losses. Since taking over as chief executive in late 2005, Mike Zafirovski has sought to reduce costs. Thousands of jobs have been cut and older businesses sold off to focus on potentially higher-margin emerging technologies such as WiMax. “We are just over two years into a major transformation of Nortel,” Mr Zafirovski said. “Significant progress has been made while upholding the highest standards of ethics and integrity.”

The job cuts, representing about 6.5 per cent of its workforce, will save about $300m a year, Nortel said. The relocation of jobs will be “higher growth and lower cost” places.

Mr Binning refused to comment on speculation that Nortel had


Источник: Financial Times

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