Unisys to cut 2000 jobs

Unisys said two months ago that job reductions and other corporate changes were in the works because of declining revenue and profits. Now the axe has fallen.

The company announced late last week that about 750 US workers have accepted early retirement incentive packages, while another 1,250 around the world will be laid off - most by the end of the month. The company has approximately 36,000 employees.

Cuts to the company's Australian operations have not yet been revealed.

The company also said that it's considering selling its federal computer services division.

At a meeting with analysts Thursday in New York, the company outlined several initiatives to fuel what it calls its "growth agenda" to increase profitability. Among the new targets are providing services to e-businesses, expanding outsourcing to get out of the "middleman" business and creating alliances to boost sales.

In a statement, Unisys Chairman and CEO Lawrence A. Weinbach said the company is moving to exit low-margin hardware acquisition businesses for customers through a new agreement with Ingram Micro. Under the agreement, Ingram Micro will provide a Web-based channel for Unisys customers to buy some 280,000 products from about 1,700 suppliers.

Unisys spokesman Brian Daly said the moves will help the company as it continues to reshape itself.

"We're focusing very much in services and technologies where we can provide a value-add for customers moving into e-business," Daly said.

The firm has previously reported a third-quarter profit of $US42.9 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, down 69 per cent from earnings of $138.4 million in the same three months last year.

Revenue declined 9 per cent to $1.7 billion during the quarter, compared with revenue of $1.9 billion in the same period last year.

That poor showing followed lower-than-expected financial results in the second quarter.

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