EETimes: Europe’s largest consumer electronics group, Royal Philips Electronics NV is to reduce its workforce by 6,000 worldwide this year after reporting its first quarterly loss for almost six years. It also halted an ongoing shares buy-back program.
The company suffered a net loss of Euros 186 million for 2008 after a fourth quarter loss of Euros 1.47 billion, partly because of a write-down in the value of its Lumileds diode light unit, as well as downgrading the value of its remaining stakes in NXP Semiconductors and LG Display Co.
Sales for the year were Euros 26.4 billon, down 1.5 percent, but fourth-quarter sales fell 8.9 percent to Euros 7.62 billion.
Gerard Kleisterlee, the president and chief executive, said that the fourth-quarter losses reflected “the unprecedented speed and ferocity with which the economy softened in 2008″.