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Vitesse cuts staff as industry stays soft

The communications chipmaker says the cuts will not affect its financial estimates, which include a gradual recovery during 2002.

Vitesse Semiconductor said it has cut its staff by 10 percent, affecting nearly 130 workers.

The cuts, announced late Tuesday, were made across all worldwide divisions of the Camarillo, Calif.-based communications chipmaker.

The move reflects difficult times in the semiconductor industry as other companies like Motorola, Advanced Micro Devices and Intel announced layoffs this year amid a slump in sales and a cutback in equipment-maker spending.

Vitesse announced layoffs last May, reducing its work force by 12 percent at the time. The company's employee roster grew after the May cuts because of the completed acquisitions of Versatile Optical Networks and Exbit Technology, which employed about 72 and 62 people, respectively.

The company said, however, that the layoffs would not change its financial estimates. Vitesse reported a loss of $28.1 million, or 14 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $37.2 million for its fourth fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30. That compares with a year-ago net income of $40.2 million, or 21 cents per share, on sales of $138 million.

Vitesse expects little improvement in the December quarter, but sees a gradual recovery during the 2002 calendar year.