Bookham plans to cut staff by 15%

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The Independent Online

Bookham, the fibre-optic component maker, has joined the ranks of technology companies forced into cutbacks with an announcement that it plans to reduce its workforce by 15 per cent, or 150 people, in an attempt to cut costs. The company yesterday said it hoped to make the cuts through "attrition and voluntary separations".

Bookham, the fibre-optic component maker, has joined the ranks of technology companies forced into cutbacks with an announcement that it plans to reduce its workforce by 15 per cent, or 150 people, in an attempt to cut costs. The company yesterday said it hoped to make the cuts through "attrition and voluntary separations".

It said the reductions are likely to be mainly in its mini-DIL manufacturing operations, which are its older products, and among manufacturing-related engineering positions. Shares in the company closed down 16p at 509p.

Bookham sells its optical components - which detect, route and control light signals in fibre-optic networks - to the telecommunications and network systems providers.

The company said it planned to focus its investments and position its workforce on its higher margin state-of-the-art DWDM products and the continued development of its ASOC technology. However, it would not detail what the potential savings from the move might be.

Nortel Networks, which last month issued an earnings warning, is Bookham's largest customer by far and accounted for just over 50 per cent of revenues in the fourth quarter of last year.

Bookham's move to cut costs follows its warning last month that it expected a marked downturn in demand for its mini-DIL products.

Separately, there was more bad news in the telecoms sector - this time from Alcatel, the French telecoms equipment maker. It joined the growing list of mobile phone makers warning on slowing growth. Alcatel said mobile handsets slowed in the first quarter of the year but kept its forecasts for full-year turnover.

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