STMicro reports quarterly loss, lays off 4,500

Europe's largest chipmaker announced the redundancies as part of a cost-cutting drive, but it is not yet clear from which facilities the cuts will be made.

David Meyer Special to CNET News.com

Europe's largest chipmaker, STMicroelectronics, has reported a $366 million net loss for the fourth quarter of 2008, and has said it will lay off as many as 4,500 jobs in a cost-cutting drive.

The results for the European firm were released on Tuesday. The fourth quarter of the previous year saw a net income of $20 million. It is not yet known how many of the layoffs will take place in the UK--STMicro employs just over 430 employees in the UK, with a sales office in Marlow and research and development sites in Bristol, Edinburgh, Fleet and Daventry.

"Fourth-quarter net revenues came in at the midpoint of our updated outlook and reflected the accelerated level of order push-outs and cancellations and decrease in demand as the quarter progressed," said STMicro president and chief executive, Carlo Bozotti, in the statement that accompanied Tuesday's results. "All product areas were negatively affected, in particular automotive, wireless and computer peripherals."

In the statement, Bozotti said STMicro hoped to reduce its costs by over $700 million during 2009, partly through the job cuts. "While it is extremely difficult to predict how the industry will evolve in 2009, we believe it could be a year of fundamental change and opportunity," he added.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.