Philips to slash 4,500 jobs globally

Amsterdam-based company announces job losses totalling 4,500, as quarterly profits take 85 per cent

Philips Electronics has announced plans to slash 4,500 jobs around the world, including 1,400 alone in the Netherlands, after quarterly profits slumped to their lowest level in almost two years.

The company, the world's largest light bulb manufacturer and a major player in both the consumer electronics and hospital equipment markets, reported an 85 per cent fall in third-quarter net profits.

The Amsterdam based company said in a press-release that the job losses were part of a plan to save €800m (£700m), with Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten adding that the move was an "inevitable step" towards boosting profits.

The efficiency drive, which includes attempts to sell off the majority of its TV business to Hong Kong- based TVP, seems however to have suffered a set back after Phillips admitted that the process was taking longer than had been expected. With the global TV market deteriorating, Philips is keen to have the deal finalised as soon as possible to avoid future losses.

"For the eventuality that a final agreement cannot be reached, Philips will consider its alternative options," said Frans van Houten.

In response to the announcement the company's stock rose 4.6 per cent to €15.49 after declining 35 per cent since the start of the year.