Irish jobs safe as Philips announces chip cuts

13 Mar 2003

The jobs of the 450 people employed in Ireland by electronics company Philips will not be affected following the news today that 1,600 people are to be laid off at the firm’s semiconductor division in Europe and the US.

The Dutch multinational employs 450 people in commercial and selling operations and at share services centres in Clonskeagh, but doesn’t have any semiconductor operations here.

The global measures are being taken as part of efforts to restore profitability to the company’s beleaguered division which has seen a worldwide slump in demand for its product.

Philips had operated a manufacturing plant in Cork making security cameras four years ago, but this has ceased operation.

Scott McGregor, chief executive of Philips Semiconductors, said: “With attention to swift and exact execution, we expect that these actions will see Philips Semiconductors again making a positive contribution to the Philips Group in the fourth quarter of this year.”

However, he added: “With the ongoing softness in the industry we still face a tough couple of quarters before our efforts will truly show though. (As we said at the presentation of our 2002 results) we are prepared to take the tough decision to not only put things back on track, but more importantly create a healthy and sustainable profitable business for the future.”

“We know that part of the plan will be painful to the organisation, and to our San Antonio employees in particular, and we will do everything we can to work together with all involved to minimise the impact,” he continued.

In its last quarterly results Phillips recorded a net loss of €1,530m (a loss of €1.20 per share) compared to a loss of €1,062m (€0.84 per share) in the same period of 2001.

Income for the fourth quarter 2002 included impairments charges of €1,340m (€921m for Atos origin and €275m for LG Philips displays) and other special charges of €248m, whilst figures for the same period in 2001 included impairment charges of €526m (mainly for Vivendi Universal), and other net special charges of €433m.

By Suzanne Byrne