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 user 2008-04-03 at 2:51:10 pm Views: 49
  • #19648

    Oce cuts jobs, warns on U.S. operations
    * Plans to cut 350 jobs as part of cost cutting programme
    * Warns of sales declines in U.S. financial and construction sector
    * Wants to expand cross-selling partnerships with Konica Minolta, Fuji Xerox, and Canon Inc

    AMSTERDAM, April 09 – Dutch photocopier and printer maker Oce plans job cuts due to economic uncertainty as it warned on Thursday of sales declines in the U.S. financial and construction sector, and its stock fell more than 9 percent.Oce, which reported a quarterly net profit rise due to a one-off gain from a unit sale, said it planned to increase cost cuts to 80 million euros ($125 million) in 2008 from 50 million euro announced previously due to economic uncertainty.Shares of the company fell as much as 9.4 percent to 9.86 euros and traded down 7.3 percent at 10.09 euros by 0955 GMT, making them the biggest decliner in the Amsterdam midcap index, which was down 0.7 percent.Half of the extra cost cuts would come from reducing expenses such as travel costs and consultancy fees, Oce CEO Rokus van Iperen told Reuters in an interview.”The other 15 million euros in costs savings will be through personnel costs. We will cut jobs, and estimate this will affect about 350 jobs globally,” Van Iperen said.Economic developments were affecting Oce’s operations, especially in the financial sector where the purchase of new very high volume printers was postponed, Oce said in a statement.”There was also a decrease in printing volume at banks and in the construction sector, particularly in the United States,” said Oce, which reported a 75 percent rise in net profit to 21 million euros due to one-off gains of 15 million euros.Sales declined 3.7 percent to 702 million euros in the first quarter ended on Feb. 29 compared to first quarter sales in 2007 due to exchange rate effects such as a lower dollar versus the euro, Oce said.

    Analysts were disappointed about Oce’s organic sales growth rate of 1.3 percent.”We reiterate that the risks are to the downside, and mounting. The additional savings may not be sufficient to offset the deteriorating demand impact,” ING analyst Marcel Achterberg said in a note.Oce CEO Van Iperen said the company would like to expand partnerships with Japan-based Konica Minolta, Fuji Xerox, and Canon Inc to cross-sell printing machines but he did not give details.Van Iperen could not give an outlook for this year as it was hard to predict short term operational developements.”The visibility of our business so limited that you run the risk of misguiding everyone,” he said.