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Networking equipment maker 3Com has announced the loss of 1,200 jobs as part of a plan to return its business to profitability.

The job cuts will mean 900 full time employees and 300 contractors will lose their jobs at 3Com - 13 per cent of the firm's work force. The lay-offs will begin today.

The redundancies are part of a plan by 3Com to reorganise its business and thereby save between $200 million and $250 million.

3Com plans to achieve these savings by making cost reductions in four areas: employment, discretionary costs, product costs and savings in plant, property and equipment.

This plan was announced in December, when 3Com warned that an economic slowdown and turmoil in the US telecommunications industry, was hitting sales. However the extent of the job cuts has taken industry observers by surprise.

In December, 3Com reported total revenues for the quarter of $789.5 million, and lower-than-expected net losses of $52.4 million which compares to a loss of $41.3 million in the previous quarter. ®

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