Struggling US giant Motorola saw its fourth quarter earnings axed in half as it continues to lay off staff.
Net profit for the quarter ended 31 December, was ahead of analyst expectations at $159 million, compared with $321 million a year ago. Revenue remained flat at $8.3 billion.
Motorola's president and chief operating officer, Robert Growney, said he expects the company's cost cutting and staff reduction activities, which began last June, will help it improve profits by an extra $1 billion by mid 1999. The work has already saved Motorola $300 million during the second half of last year.
The company expects to cut 18,000 jobs by mid 1999, with a further 4,500 to go when Motorola completes the sell off of its automotive, component, computer and energy group to CTS.
For the full year, revenue fell by one per cent to $29.4 billion from $29.8 billion in 1997. The full year loss was $962 million, although without one time special charges mostly related to restructuring, the company actually earned $347 million. This compares to $1.4 billion profit for 1997, before special charges for that year.
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