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Novell lays off 15% in Europe

The networking company is laying off at least 15 percent of its European workforce but won't comment on reports of U.S. layoffs.

Struggling to revive falling profits and revenues, Novell (NOVL) plans to slash its European workforce by at least 15 percent.

The staff reduction will cut its European base to 340 employees, company spokesman Jonathan Cohen said.

The networking software company will announce additional layoffs of 20 percent of its total workforce when it reports its earnings next week, according to a report in trade publication Computer Reseller News. Novell would not comment on the report.

The anticipated layoffs come a month after the company said its second-quarter revenues and profits will fall short of analysts' projections. That will mark the third consecutive quarter of falling revenues and a further decline in profits.

Cohen said the layoffs in Europe will occur across various departments and result in some consolidation of offices, but he wouldn't say if the company would take a charge this quarter for the restructuring.

The layoffs are taking place just two months after Eric Schmidt took over the chief executive post. Schmidt was the former chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems.

Novell has suffered declining sales as Microsoft's Windows NT has nibbled away at its market share. The company's worldwide employment currently stands at 5,800, down from more than 9,000 in January 1995, according to Cohen.