Applied Materials to cut 12 percent of global workforce

Chip manufacturing equipment company Applied Materials plans to reduce its global workforce by about 12 percent, or 1,800 workers, in a move to cut costs and streamline its business, the company announced Wednesday.

Applied cited the deteriorating economy and uncertainty in the world's financial markets. The layoffs are part of a restructuring program that begins in the current quarter and will continue to the end of fiscal 2009, and aims to save the company around US$400 million annually.

The job cuts will be made through attrition, voluntary separation and other means, the company said. Applied already said it would cut around 1,000 jobs earlier this year as part of another cost-reduction plan.

The move came as Applied reported lower revenue and wider losses for its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Oct. 26. Net sales were $2.04 billion, down from $2.37 billion in the same quarter a year ago, while net income dropped to $231 million from $422 million.

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