Polaroid to cut 2,000 jobs worldwide as it warns on second-quarter losses

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The Independent Online

Polaroid is to cut about 2,000 jobs, or 25 per cent of its global workforce, over the next 18 months as the US group faces up to steeper than expected declines in its instant-imaging business.

The Massachusetts-based photographic film and imaging equipment maker also warned yesterday that its second-quarter operating loss would be far larger than Wall Street analysts have estimated.

Polaroid said the restructuring should bring total annual cost savings of $175m to $200m (£125m-£145m) by the end of 2003. It will also take $150m to $175m worth of charges in 2001 and 2002. Besides the job cuts, Polaroid said the restructuring ­ the second it has announced this year ­ would see its global operations reconfigured.

Polaroid's chairman Gary DiCamillo said the company's core instant business has had steeper declines than projected because of the soft economy and the competing growth of digital imaging.

The restructuring would affect virtually all of its global operations, including about 1,000 employees in the US. In February, the company announced a restructuring to cut its workforce by about 950 jobs. Combined with the cuts announced yesterday, that will reduce the number of employees worldwide to about 5,500 by the end of 2002.

For the second quarter, Polaroid warned that its operating results would be about the same as its first-quarter operating loss, excluding any one-off items. For the first quarter, Polaroid posted an operating loss of $38m, or 85 cents a share, excluding an $80m restructuring charge.

Analysts have estimated that Polaroid's second-quarter results would range from a loss of 17 cents a share to a profit of 5 cents, with a consensus of a loss of 7 cents a share, Thomson Financial/First Call said.