Alcatel posts loss, lays off 10,000 more workers

Alcatel posts loss, lays off 10,000 more workers

Alcatel reported another quarterly net loss on Wednesday and said it would lay off 10,000 more workers in Europe in response to a continuing drop in demand.

The French telecommunication equipment maker posted a net loss for the third quarter of 558 million euros (US$508 million as of September 30, the last day of the period being reported), compared with a net profit of 297 million euros in the same period last year.

Sales in the third quarter, impacted by the "severe downturn" in the US, came in at 5.6 billion euros. This is down 18 percent from the year-ago figure of 6.8 billion euros (restated to exclude the divested cable division Nexans).

Alcatel, like rivals Ericsson Telephone and Lucent Technologies, has seen sales drop because telecommunication carriers have postponed or scrapped network upgrades and expansions. Sales in the fixed telecommunication area were hardest hit with a year-on-year drop of over 50 per cent, said Alcatel.

Sales of broadband technologies, mainly ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line), were down in the US, and sales of GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) mobile handsets declined worldwide with 1.9 million units sold in the quarter. Sales in the optics segment, which includes optical networking, were slightly up.

For the full year 2001, Alcatel expects a net loss of 5 billion euros and its net debt to be around 4 billion euros.

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