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HP to layoff 27,000 employees

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Hewlett-Packard has said it would layoff roughly 27,000 employees or about 8 per cent of its workforce.

The company said on Wednesday the layoffs would be made mainly through early retirement and would generate annual savings of $3bn to $3.5bn by the end of 2014.

The world's largest personal computer maker, which employs more than 300,000 people globally, also said that it had a 30 per cent decline in second-quarter profit and a 3 per cent decline in revenue in the quarter, compared with a year ago.

Layoffs "adversely impact people's lives, but in this case, they are absolutely critical to the long-term health of the company," Meg Whitman, the chief executive, said on a conference call with analysts.

The company will take a pretax charge of $1.7bn in fiscal 2012 related to the layoffs.

HP has been trying to move past the internal upheaval that marked 2011, including the departure of two chief executives.

Whitman, a veteran Silicon Valley executive who took the top job last September, has been trying to turn around the company.

HP reported second-quarter net income of $1.59bn, or 80 cents a share, compared with $2.3 billion, or $1.05 a share, a year ago. Revenue of $30.69bn was down 3 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Excluding items, HP said it earned 98 cents a share, compared with analysts' average estimate of 91 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Autonomy founder leaves 

HP's acquisition of British software company Autonomy for over $11bn is facing challenges, and results in the division fell short of HP's expectations, Whitman said.

HP has moved the division under its chief strategy officer Bill Veghte, and Autonomy founder Mike Lynch will be leaving the company.

Results from HP's other divisions were also weak.

Sales from the personal systems group, encompassing PCs, were flat with a decline in sales to consumers offsetting revenue from commercial clients.

Revenue from its bread-and-better printing group, which is being merged with the PC group, fell 10 per cent after weak consumer and corporate demand.

"We improved the channel inventory to within an acceptable range," Whitman said on the call, referring to the printing group. "However, we continue to face a weak demand environment."

Sales of enterprise servers, storage and networking equipment fell 6 per cent.

HP shares rose to $22.35 after hours after closing down 3.2 per cent at $21.08.


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