23/01/2009

Microsoft To Axe 5,000 Jobs

Software giant Microsoft has announced it is to axe 5,000 jobs, as the credit crunch further tightens its grip on the world's economy.

The computer group said 1,400 jobs will go with immediate effect, and the rest will go over the next 18 months.

Less than 2% of the losses will affect the UK, with fewer than 60 people losing jobs from a workforce of about 2,900, the company confirmed.

The news came as Microsoft announced an 11% drop in net income for the last quarter, compared with the previous year. A net profit of $4.17bn (£3bn) for the three months to 31 December was recorded - less than analysts had expected.

The results missed Wall Street's forecast for earnings of 49 cents per share on sales of $17.08 billion.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer: "While we're not immune to the effects of the economy, I am confident in the strength of our product portfolio and soundness of our approach.

"We will continue to manage expenses and invest in long-term opportunities to deliver value to customers and shareholders, and we will emerge an even stronger industry leader than we are today."

Washington-based Microsoft confirmed it was removing jobs in its research and development, marketing, sales, finance, legal, HR and IT departments.

(JM/BMcC)

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