NEC culls 20,000 jobs

Many jobs to go at computing giant as its bank balance fills ill winds of global economy.

NEC is planning on mass job cuts.

NEC used the backdrop of its latest earnings announcement to detail plans to shed some 20,000 jobs over the next few years.

The Japanese computing giant revealed its fourth quarter results late last week, posting losses of 130.8 billion Yen (1.03 billion) during the period. It also predicted an equally grim outlook for its full year figures, with loss estimates of 290 billion Yen (2.29 billion).

Sales for the quarter ending 31 December 2008 stood at 948.3 billion Yen (7.51 billion).

"The worldwide economy during the three months ended December 31 2008 significantly slowed down mainly in developed countries such as the US and European countries... "NEC said in a statement.

"The Japanese economy also slowed down and the continuing turmoil of financial markets, such as falling stock prices and the rapid increase of concerns over employment and income, rapidly decreased consumer confidence.

The job cuts will occur between now and March 2010, according to NEC, with contract, temporary and full-time staff sharing the ill-effects of the chop pretty much evenly. The cuts should shave around 80 billion Yen from the company's overheads.

"It is regrettable that we have to announce such a big downgrade," Kaoru Yano, NEC's president, said during a news conference, adding "We must cut waste."

Fellow Japanese tech giant Hitachi also echoed NEC's bleak outlook by announcing that it planned to axe up to 7,000 from its headcount.

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