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Friday, 31 August, 2001, 06:34 GMT 07:34 UK
Hitachi cuts 14,700 jobs
Hitachi video recorders
Hitachi is Japan's biggest electronics manufacturer
Hitachi, Japan's largest electronics manufacturer, has said it will slash its global workforce by 14,700.

Some 4,500 of the job losses were likely to be take place outside Japan, the firm said.

The cuts, which amount to more than 4% of Hitachi's staff, will all be made before March next year.

The company also warned that it expected to make a 140bn yen (810m; $1.2bn) loss for the full year to March, rather than the 90bn yen profit it had previously predicted.

The news saw Hitachi shares fall at one point by as much as 5.5% to 962 yen.

Japan's corporate pain

Hitachi's move is the latest in a series of drastic job cuts totalling about 65,000 among Japanese electronics makers, including Toshiba and Fujitsu.

This week saw semiconductor maker Kyocera, too, announce sweeping job cuts totalling one fifth of its workforce or 10,000 posts. Most of its cuts, though, will come outside Japan.

Hitachi said it was reducing its planned capital spending in the troubled semiconductor sector to 60bn yen (344m; $502m) from the original 140bn yen.

Hitachi will post group restructuring costs of 80bn yen in this business year.

More follow

Meanwhile, Casio and Sanyo joined the chorus of gloom as both firms warned that profits would be much lower than expected.

Casio cuts its forecast for group net profit in the year to March 2002 by 80%, from 7bn yen to 1.5bn yen.

Sales, it said, would probably slow by 4.4% to 430bn yen, as spending on electronic devices continued to slide.

"With the world economy falling into a grave slowdown... we have to lower our profit forecasts due to this difficult environment," the company said in a statement.

Sanyo said profits were likely to slide to 122bn yen for the year, down from a previous forecast of 150bn yen.

Peter Morgan, HSBC in Tokyo
"There has been a greater tendancy for the Japanese to cut back on domestic employment"
Keisuke Tsumoto, Schroders Investment Management
"IT companies are drastically changing their restructuring plans"
See also:

31 Aug 01 | Business
Japanese prices spiral downwards
27 Aug 01 | Business
Toshiba cuts 18,800 jobs
27 Aug 01 | Business
Japan 'aid' for unemployed?
26 Aug 01 | Business
Hitachi 'joins job cutting spree'
25 Aug 01 | Business
Toshiba 'to axe 20,000 jobs'
20 Aug 01 | Business
Fujitsu to cut 16,400 jobs
27 Jul 01 | Business
Fujitsu and NEC profits slide
27 Jul 01 | Scotland
NEC confirms job cuts
26 Jul 01 | Business
Job cuts top 50,000
11 Jul 01 | Business
Japan's economy falters
20 Feb 01 | Business
Tech slump spreads to Japan
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