Kyocera, a major Japanese electronic parts manufacturer, is planning to lay off 10,000 workers from its overseas units by the end of this year.
The cuts, which represent around 20 per cent of the company's 51,000 strong work force, will be centered on its US units and will also hit other foreign subsidiaries, said Taro Ishin, a spokesman for Kyocera in Kyoto. The company has yet to decide on the specifics of the plan, said Ishin, but he added that no job losses were being planned for Japan.
The announcement comes a week after the company cut its full year group sales forecast for the current year by 14 per cent to 1.05 trillion yen (US$8.8 billion). At the same time, the company slashed its group pretax profit forecast by half to 90 billion yen and its group net profit forecast by almost half to 50 billion yen.
Largely behind the downgrade was a collapse in the market for wireless handsets, said the company. Kyocera not only produces finished handsets but also is a major supplier of components to other handset makers and so is being hit from both sides with the slump. The abrupt halt in optical network equipment spending by many US carriers also hit the company's components division.
The company had originally forecast the wireless and components markets would rebound in the second quarter. Kyocera is now pinning its hopes on an end to the slump at the end of the current financial year in March 2002.
Kyocera is not alone in Japan in announcing major job cuts. On Monday this week Toshiba said it will lay off 18,800 staff between now and March 2004 as part of a corporate-wide restructuring. In the last month Fujitsu has also announced plans to lay off 16,400 staff and NEC said it will restructure with the loss of 4,000 jobs.