Nortel revenues plummet 15pc

2 Mar 2009

Struggling communications equipment giant Nortel saw its Q4 revenues fall by 15pc to US$2.72bn as market demand for its products fell in the face of the ongoing global recession.

The company, which is struggling to emerge from bankruptcy protection, has seen a 30pc year-over-year decline in revenue in its enterprise business, which it attributed to slower-than-usual demand for its products and services.

“The fourth-quarter revenues decreased 15pc as the market continued to deteriorate and customers either reduced or deferred spending,” said Nortel president and chief executive officer, Mike Zafirovski (pictured).

“However, strong operating performance focused on customers, costs and cash resulted in meeting or exceeding guidance for management operating margin and cash.

“The management operating margin was the highest since 2000, key customer performance and quality metrics were also at multi-year highs and our fourth-quarter operating expenses were down 30pc from the prior year.

Zafirovski said that, where appropriate, investments continue to be made in order to deliver the R&D and technology leadership.

“At every level, our employees are working hard in an extremely difficult environment to deliver on our customer commitments and drive our business forward,” said Zafirovski.

“Work is taking place across Nortel to develop a comprehensive plan to restructure the company into a more focused, leaner and more competitive company,” he said.

Nortel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US in January. The Canadian technology company employs over 300 people in Galway, and has had an operation there since 1973.

The company never fully recovered from the major economic downturn of 2001 and 2002, which was exacerbated by the dotcom downturn.

In November, Nortel launched a major restructuring programme that would have reduced its headcount by 1,300 workers globally.

However, the recent credit crunch hit the company hard and, despite selling assets, mounting debts and a steep drop in revenue has impacted the company severely.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: Nortel president and chief executive officer, Mike Zafirovski