Philips to Deepen Job Cuts at Belgian Lighting Plant

Royal Philips Electronics NV said it will deepen cuts at a lighting factory in Belgium and eliminate an an additional 218 jobs in response to falling demand for conventional lamps and the rise of light-emitting diodes.

The job cuts are on top of 136 reductions announced in June, Amsterdam-based Philips said in a statement today. The site in Turnhout, Belgium, has 1,533 employees and makes high-pressure discharge lamps for sport stadiums and stores.

“The need to focus on cost efficiency is becoming more and more important,” Alasdair Waugh, director at the site, said in a statement. “We expect a decrease of production volumes in the next two years.”

The company, the world’s largest maker of lighting equipment, is also moving two production lines to Shanghai to save costs. The cuts are part of a companywide overhaul involving 6,700 reductions to realize 1.1 billion euros in savings ($1.4 billion).

Sales of LED products at Philips rose 51 percent in the third quarter and made up 24 percent of total lighting sales. The company expects 45 percent of general lighting sales to come from LEDs by 2015.

(Company corrects LED market outlook in last paragraph of story that ran Nov. 5.)
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