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Dell trims 150 jobs in Ireland

The administrative positions are made redundant by the consolidation of manufacturing operations into a single location. Dell says no wider-scale cuts are planned.

Penny-pinching at Dell Computer will mean 150 fewer jobs in Ireland.

The company said that the jobs--all administrative positions in its Limerick offices--were made redundant by the consolidation of manufacturing operations into a single location in the Limerick county town of Raheen.

Dell's "ongoing drive for efficiencies...resulted in the duplication of some administrative and some management roles," said Mike Maher, a spokesman at the PC maker's Austin, Texas, headquarters.

Dell will eliminate the jobs by offering voluntary separation as opposed to imposing layoffs on the staff, Maher said. Employees who leave will receive a severance package that includes at least six weeks of pay and extended medical insurance coverage.

The Raheen site serves Dell customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Cost-cutting is an important part of Dell's strategy of pricing its PCs lower than competitors' computers in order to gain market share, but still turning a profit--something the company calls "profitable share gain." Though the resulting profit is somewhat lower than the company's historic levels, Dell is betting that its expanded market share will allow it to gain even more sales from corporations once the PC market, hurt by the recession of 2001, begins to turn upward again.

Dell said recently that cost reductions in four areas--product design, manufacturing and distribution, operations and product warranties--could save it about $1 billion during its fiscal 2003. During its first fiscal quarter, the company turned in better-than-expected earnings, thanks in part to cost-cutting measures.

Dell says has no plans for further layoffs. Instead, the company feels it is "appropriately sized for the current environment," Maher said.