IBM's loss of pounds 3bn is biggest in history

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IBM, the American computer group, made a loss of dollars 4.96bn ( pounds 3.22bn) last year - the largest in corporate history - and warned that more difficult times lie ahead. The UK subsidiary lost pounds 616m before tax and said that 1,000 jobs would go this year in addition to 1,000 shed in 1992.

Across the world IBM axed 40,000 jobs last year and another 25,000 will go this year. The financial loss for 1992 includes a charge of dollars 11.6bn to cover restructuring and job losses.

Although still the largest player in turnover terms in the computer industry, IBM has been hit by vicious price-cutting, worldwide recession and the fragmentation of the market. Newcomers such as Microsoft, Intel, Apple and Sun have taken over the most profitable segments. Speculation is mounting that IBM will have to break up to survive.

Hamish McRae, page 19

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