Baltimore to keep Asia staff intact

Security software maker Baltimore Technologies Plc said that its 150 employees in Asia Pacific, excluding Japan, will keep their jobs.

SINGAPORE--Security software maker Baltimore Technologies Plc said that its 150 employees in Asia Pacific, excluding Japan, will keep their jobs.

This is despite yesterday's announcement by its UK parent that the company would axe a "significant" number of jobs as part of a global restructuring program that's expected to generate annualized savings of about 14 million pounds (US$21 million).

The restructuring program will involve "fundamental change across the business, including a significant reduction in headcount, which will take place following a consultative process with employees and management," Baltimore said in the statement yesterday. More details about the restructuring are to be revealed in August.

"We do not have any plans to layoff staff in Asia Pacific at this point, nor do we intend to close any offices in the region," Baltimore Technologies Asia Pacific managing director John Palfreyman said in an email response yesterday.

In the region, the company currently employs 150 staff and has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.

"At this point in time, we are still recruiting staff in all Baltimore Asia Pacific offices," Palfreyman added. According to him, the region's operations has "five (open) positions currently outstanding".

The company's latest decision to cut jobs comes just two and a half months after it slashed 250 jobs, or 18 percent, of its 1,401 staff worldwide due to a wider-than-expected loss in the first quarter of this year.

Then, Palfreyman said that its regional operations were unaffected by the cuts.

When asked about its business strategy for the next two months, Palfreyman said: "Our objective is to consolidate our leadership position in the banking and finance and government sectors across Asia Pacific going forward."

Some of Baltimore's regional clients include, Singapore Network Solutions, Australian New Zealand Bank and Telstra Corp.

He claimed that the Asia Pacific operations was profitable and added that "it's our goal to maintain that position".

In May, Palfreyman said that the region contributed US$8.4 million, or 25 percent, of global revenues in the first quarter of this year. Global revenues hit US$33.9 million for the period ended March 31, 2000 compared with US$13.6 million a year ago.

Shares of Nasdaq-listed Baltimore last traded at US$0.58, down US$0.25.


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