HP to start global job cuts in S'pore

Hewlett-Packard is set to begin its plan to reduce 6,000 staff globally here. According to The Business Times, HP's Southeast Asia headquarters, based in Singapore, will bear a "fair proportion" of the cuts.

SINGAPORE--Hewlett-Packard is set to begin its plan to reduce 6,000 staff globally here.

According to The Business Times, HP's Southeast Asia headquarters, based in Singapore, will bear a "fair proportion" of the cuts. The computer company has 6,500 staff in Singapore, of which 4,000 are executives, and 2,500 are production and contract workers at its plant, which manufactures printers and computers.

The paper said that the staff reductions, first announced in July, would be announced this week. Other sources have said that the layoffs could begin today.

HP has been battered by the technological slump. Last week, it reported that third-quarter revenue had dropped 14 percent from the previous year, to US$10.1 billion. Profits for the quarter were US$111 million, compared with US$1 billion in the year-ago period.

Share prices are down about 60 percent from their 52-week high, closing at US$24.74 on Monday.

Operating costs in the third quarter stood at US$10 billion. The company is in a cost-cutting campaign to try to save US$500 million a year. After asking staff to accept a voluntary pay cut, which saved the company US$130 million, HP continued by announcing the layoffs of 6,000 workers globally. This is expected to be completed by October.

HP had a manufacturing turnover in Singapore of US$14 billion last year. In June, it asked its local staff to take six days' leave before October, and gave them a choice of a 10 percent pay cut between July and October, or eight days' leave, or a combination of the two.