Alcatel posts loss, lays off 10,000 more workers

Alcatel SA reported another quarterly net loss on Wednesday and said it would lay off 10,000 more workers in Europe in response to a continuing drop in demand.

The French telecommunication equipment maker posted a net loss for the third quarter of 558 million euros (US$508 million as of Sept. 30, the last day of the period being reported), compared with a net profit of 297 million euros in the same period last year.

Sales in the third quarter, impacted by the "severe downturn" in the U.S., came in at 5.6 billion euros. This is down 18 percent from the year-ago figure of 6.8 billion euros (restated to exclude the divested cable division Nexans).

Bracing for demand to sag further and restructuring the company so it can break even with quarterly sales of under 5 billion euros, Alcatel said it would cut costs by 20 percent and reduce its European headcount by 10,000, on top of the 23,000 workers worldwide that have already been asked to leave.

To start next year with a clean sheet, Alcatel said it plans to take a 1.2 billion euros restructuring charge in the fourth quarter, together with possible charges for inventory write-offs.

For the full year 2001, Alcatel expects a net loss of 5 billion euros.

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