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Wednesday, 23 January, 2002, 01:10 GMT
Motorola losses mount
Motorola global headquarters
Motorola hopes for a return to profit this year
Motorola, the world's number two mobile phone maker, has reported a loss for the closing months of last year and said its end markets remained "weak".

Motorola's figures, covering the October to December period, are the first in a run of updates this week from the world's top mobile phone handset makers.

The views of the big three - Motorola, Ericsson and Nokia - on the health of their market are likely to be scrutinised for hints on the future of firms as diverse as semiconductor manufacturers and fashion firms.

Last year will "go down in the history of the global telecommunications equipment and semiconductor industries as one of the most difficult years", Motorola chairman and chief executive Christopher Galvin said.

Workforce cut

Motorola said sales fell to $7.3bn in the final three months of 2001, compared with $9.8bn a year earlier.

Motorola has already moved to cut its workforce by about a third, or up to 9,400 jobs, as part of cost cutting plans.

The full details of the company's cost cutting plan, including precisely where job cuts will fall, has yet to be made public.

Wall Street reaction

As expected, Motorola posted a loss for the fourth quarter in a row, though it said it hoped to return to profit in the second half of 2002.

Motorola staff numbers:
August 2000:
150,000
July 2001:
120,000
October 2001:
111,000
After latest cuts:
100,000

The firm's operating loss of $90m, or four cents a share, contrasted with profits of $362m, or 16 cents a share for the same period in 2000.

However, the statement, released after the close of trading on Tuesday, met Wall Street expectations.

Motorola shares had earlier closed down $0.72, or 5%, at $13.53.

The stock has fallen 43% over the last year.

See also:

19 Dec 01 | Scotland
Spectre of job losses looms again
07 Nov 01 | Business
Motorola boosts China investment
10 Oct 01 | Business
Motorola wields jobs axe again
09 Oct 01 | Business
Motorola losses continue
07 Sep 01 | Business
Motorola cuts more jobs
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