Japan's Fujitsu to axe 1,200 jobs in Britain

LONDON: Japanese electronics maker Fujitsu Ltd. on Wednesday said it planned to cut up to 1,200 jobs in Britain by the end of 2009 because of worse-than-expected sales.

"Fujitsu Services operation in the UK has today announced a rationalisation programme across its workforce, proposing a reduction of up to 1,200 jobs. This measure is being proposed because of lower than anticipated revenues," the company said in a statement.

Fujitsu, which recently posted a quarterly loss, plans to shed almost a tenth of its workforce in Britain as it employs 12,500 people across the country.

It said the decision was "necessary to ensure that the company remains competitive in the current difficult global economic climate and is in a solid position for future growth when the economy starts to recover."

The job cuts come as the number of unemployed in Britain climbs towards three million with the country still stuck in recession.

The Fujitsu UK and Ireland business describes itself as an IT systems, services and products company with annual revenue of 2.0 billion pounds, servicing customers in the private and public sectors.

Fujitsu Ltd. meanwhile fell into the red during its first quarter amid weak demand for computers but has raised its outlook for the rest of the year.

Fujitsu last month posted a net loss of 29.20 billion yen (190 million pounds) for the April-June period, compared with a 344 million yen profit a year earlier.

The global economic crisis has forced Fujitsu to radically revamp its operations, transferring its hard-disk drive business to Toshiba and outsourcing production of semiconductors to a Taiwan firm.

Those efforts appear to be paying off. Fujitsu raised its net profit forecast for its full year to March to 25 billion yen, from an earlier target of 20 billion yen.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu employs about 175,000 people around the world, according to the company.