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February 1, 2009

Singapore: Chartered Semi posts Q4 loss, plans layoffs
Chartered Semiconductor, one of the world's largest microchip makers, announced on Friday it would cut 600 jobs worldwide - about eight per cent of its total workforce.

This will help the company save some $16 million annually in payroll and benefits.

Channel NewsAsia reported that about 540 workers in Singapore will be affected by the retrenchment exercise.

Chartered said it is currently working with the unions on a retrenchment package for affected staff.

This came as the company, which is listed in Singapore as well as on the Nasdaq in New York, reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $114 million.

It said revenues for the three months ended December 31 were down by 24 percent at $351.7 million, compared to the third quarter of 2008.

The fall was largely due to the "unprecedented rate of decline in semiconductor demand worldwide".

For the full year 2008, Chartered reported a net loss of $92.6 million compared with a net income of $101.7 million the previous year.

Looking ahead, Chartered said the negative macroeconomic environment and weakening demand will continue to affect its business in a significant way.

It is already projecting a 32 per cent fall in revenues for the first quarter of 2009, compared with the fourth quarter of 2008.

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