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ST-Ericsson Warns on Profits, to Cut Some 500 Jobs

Thu, 06/23/2011 - 8:11am
The Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — Chip maker ST-Ericsson warned Thursday it will return to a profit later than expected and plans to cut up to 500 jobs worldwide as part of a move to save $120 million a year.

The joint venture between Swedish wireless equipment firm LM Ericsson AB and Swiss chipmaker STMicroelectronics said its goal of breaking even by the second quarter of 2012 would probably not be met.

As a result, it will launch a new cost-cutting plan to achieve savings by the end of 2012. It will announce further details of the layoffs, including which countries will be affected, after it has held talks with unions.

The joint venture, based in Geneva, Switzerland, blamed the cutbacks on "recent changes in the business environment and reduced demand for legacy products at certain customers." The cuts come on top of another savings program announced in 2009.

Gilles Delfassy, president and CEO of ST-Ericsson, said that while the latest actions are needed to strengthen the company's financial position they "will not compromise the execution of our new products and delivery to our customers."

He said the company's products are gaining traction, and it remains committed to "leadership" in the smartphone and tablet markets.

To reach the annual savings target, ST-Ericsson said it would incur an estimated $55 million in restructuring costs, most of which are expected to be booked during the second half of this year.

ST-Ericsson was formed as a joint venture between Ericsson and STMicroelectronics in February 2009 with main headquarters in Geneva.

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