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Tuesday, 24 July, 2001, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
Lucent axes 20,000 more jobs
Lucent website
Lucent has been hit hard by the collapse of dot.com companies
Lucent, the struggling US telecoms equipment company, is to cut another 15,000 to 20,000 jobs.

The company also reported a loss of $1.2bn (845m), excluding one-off items, for the third quarter - far worse than expected.

In the same period last year it made a profit.

Lucent also said that as part of its restructuring it would take a charge of up to $9bn (6.3bn) in the fourth quarter.

The company says it intends to return to profitability in 2002.

Nonetheless, rating agency Standard & Poor's placed the company on CreditWatch, its system that monitors firms with a troubled credit outlook.

Feeling the pinch

Lucent - which employed 104,000 people at the end of March this year - has been forced to slash the size of its workforce.

Henry Schacht - Chairman and CEO of Lucent Technologies
Henry Schacht: restructuring needs 'to go deeper'
It has been hit hard by the sharp US slowdown, and the collapse of many dot.com companies which had bought equipment on credit.

The company said it has managed to cut more than 10,500 posts since January, while in July, more than 8,500 workers accepted an offer of voluntary retirement.

But it appears this has not been enough and Lucent now says an additional 15,000 to 20,000 jobs will have to go.

"I am pleased with the progress we have made on all points of phase one of our restructuring program," said chief executive and chairman Henry Schacht.

"However, we intend to go deeper with a new phase of our restructuring to reshape Lucent for future growth and profitability even more quickly."

Sell-off

Lucent also announced that it is to sell its fibre-optic cable division for $2.75bn (1.94bn) to the Japanese firm Furukawa and the US fibre-optic cable maker Corning.

Furukawa is buying the bulk of the business, with Corning picking up Lucent's interests in two Chinese joint ventures.

Lucent's fibre-optic cable unit employs about 6,000 people and had sales of about $2bn (1.4bn) last year.

The company also says it is selling its manufacturing plants at Oklahoma City and Columbus, Ohio, to electronics firm Celestica for up to $650m (458m).

A five-year supply agreement has also been signed which means Celestica will make switching, access and wireless networking system products for Lucent.

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