Philips to Cut 6,000 Jobs

The total job loss is now at 9,000

Consumer electronics company Philips said on Jan. 26 it would cut 6,000 jobs worldwide this year to cope with the global slowdown which pushed its results into the red. The company, which employs 121,000 people globally, reported a net loss of 186 million euros (US$242 million) for 2008 after a fourth-quarter loss of 1.47 billion euros, largely owing to an adjustment in the value of its Lumileds diode light unit.

A company spokesman said all divisions would be affected by the job cuts, with 3,000 lost in the fourth quarter of 2008, bringing the total involved to 9,000 with the 2009 reductions.

The fourth-quarter loss was worse than analyst forecasts for 1.2 billion euros and reflected a 1.3-billion-euro revaluation of Lumileds. In the same period a year earlier, the company had a profit of 1.4 billion euros. Fourth-quarter sales fell 8.9% to 7.62 billion euros.

"The fourth-quarter results reflect the serious consequences of the global financial and economic crisis and the measures taken by management accordingly," chief executive Gerard Kleisterlee said. "In view of falling demand, management was giving "absolute priority to cashflow, at the expense of profit if necessary, and to speeding up restructuring and adjustment measures."

The company hoped for savings of some 400 million euros on an annual basis by the second quarter of this year, he added.

Philips also said it would halt its five billion euros share buy-back programme for this year.

For 2008, sales were down 1.5% at 26.39 billion euros.

In 2007, the company had a net profit of 4.16 billion euros.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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