Sapient to cut 14 percent of workforce

Responding to weakening market conditions, Internet consulting firm Sapient is laying off 14 percent of its staff, or 390 workers.

A spokeswoman for the company said the layoffs, mostly in North America, are effective Monday. In a statement, Sapient said it would take a charge of US$50 million -- mainly in the third quarter -- related to the staff reductions.

Cost savings will be about $60 million annually, the company said.

In March, the company laid off 720 employees, closed its 70-person office in Sydney, Australia, and consolidated office space in cities with multiple rental locations.

In addition, Sapient said it was consolidating office space in some cities and expanding development of its operations in India. The company said it would relocate 60 consultants to its New Delhi office and increase its hiring and recruiting efforts in India.

"Global distributed delivery, combined with our expertise in business strategy and user experience, has been a competitive advantage for us and our clients over the past year," said Sheeroy Desai, Sapient's chief operating officer, in the statement.

The company said it expects to report second quarter revenue of approximately $87 million and a pro forma loss of 7 cents per diluted share, compared to Wall Street consensus estimates of $90 million, or 6 cents per share.

Sapient also said it would get out of the game development business.

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