European firms announce job cuts

Electroincs firm Philips and steel-maker Corus shed staff in bid to tackle downturn.

    Philips's fourth quarter losses, put at $1.9bn, were worse than analysts had predicted [AFP]

    "The fourth-quarter results reflect the serious consequences of  the global financial and economic crisis and the measures taken by management accordingly," Gerard Kleisterlee, the firm's chief executive, said in a statement.

    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," he said.

    Overall, Philips made a net loss of $242m in 2008, having recorded a net profit of $5.49bn for 2007.

    Cutting costs

    Corus, which is owned by Indian firm Tata, hopes its planned 3,500 redundancies will help it recover from the fall in global demand for steel.

    Reports said that 2,500 of the job cuts would be in Britain.

    Corus also announced a series of cost cuts including mothballing a mill in South Wales and restructuring several parts of its business.

    John Wilson, senior officer of the GMB union, said the planned cuts were "a body blow" for manufacturing in Britain.

    "It is essential that the UK government offers this industry the same support being offered to the banking sector because, just like banks, steel is the bedrock of our economy," he added.

    The company predicts that the job cuts, along with other measures, should help raise operating profits by more than $277m per year.

    David Litterick, a company spokesman, said talks with the British government about providing help to the newly unemployed are ongoing.

    "We are still hopeful that something will be agreed," he said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    We explore how Salah Ed-Din unified the Muslim states and recaptured the holy city of Jerusalem from the crusaders.