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Alcatel-Lucent Posts Loss, To Slash 12,500 Jobs

Alcatel-Lucent on Friday said it would cut about 12,500 jobs over three years, more than previously announced, as it reported a fourth-quarter net loss and forecast a drop in first-quarter revenues.

However, the world's second-largest supplier of telecoms network and mobile equipment said it expected full-year revenues to grow at least in line with the telecoms carrier market at 5%. The company declined to comment on how much it expects first-quarter revenues to fall.

Alcatel-Lucent, which issued a profit warning last month, made a net loss of 618 million euros ($802.3 million) in the three months to December 31 compared with a profit of 381 million euros a year earlier.

Workers at Alcatel-Lucent have called for a strike on February 15 to protest against the job cuts.

Alcatel-Lucent said it now expected pretax savings to total 1.7 billion euros over three years. The company had previously said it expected job losses of 9,000 and had pencilled in cost-savings of 1.4 billion euros.

The U.S. and French companies started operating as a merged entity on December 1.

"While the results for the fourth quarter are clearly disappointing, the positive long-term benefits of the merger and the growth potential of Alcatel-Lucent remain as envisioned," Chief Executive Officer Pat Russo said in a statement.

"We have made progress against our integration plans and we expect to increasingly recognize the benefits of our integration in the course of the year," she added.

"These are difficult but necessary decisions, and we will manage these reductions with care," Russo said.

Alcatel-Lucent said it plans to pay a dividend of 0.16 euro per share for 2006.

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