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Japan’s Advantest slashes 1,200 jobs

Filed on February 25, 2009

TOKYO - Japanese chip equipment maker Advantest Corp. said Wednesday that it was slashing 1,200 jobs, or more than a quarter of its workforce, as it braces to fall into the red in the year to March.

Advantest said chip makers were curbing their investment, hitting demand for the companys semiconductor testing equipment.

The group plans to reduce its workforce to 3,400 by the end of March, a decline of 26 percent from a year earlier. It said it had already begun shedding temporary jobs and offering voluntary retirements.

The company will also freeze management bonuses and slash executive pay by up to 60 percent to cope with the downturn in the memory chip market.

The company expects a net loss of 78 billion yen (804 million dollars) for the 12 months through March, against a year-earlier profit of 16.55 billion yen. Operating losses are seen hitting 50 billion yen as revenue falls 59 percent.

Japanese companies, particularly exporters, have been particularly hit by the global economic slump, which has triggered a wave of layoffs and depressed consumer spending

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