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Bookham axes 100 workers

Over-hyped optical networker warns sales to drop by half

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Over-hyped optical networking vendor, Bookham Technology plc, is to cull 12 per cent of its workforce amid plummeting sales and little sign of any immediate upturn in demand.

One hundred jobs will be lost at the London Stock Exchange- and NASDAQ-listed company as it reported today that sales for the quarter ended July 1 would be down 45-55 percent on the previous three months, although still up around 15-35 per cent on the same quarter in 2000.

Shares in London tumbled 49p (17.6 per cent) to 230p by mid afternoon - a far cry from the £55 a share it recorded last year.

The company blamed declining "market conditions" for the job losses and revised figures.

In a statement, Giorgio Anania, president and CEO, said: "Near-term visibility in our market place remains poor."

"We continue to look carefully at our cost structure, especially in manufacturing.

"At the same time, there is plenty of work ongoing with customers to design in our new products, and we are seeing good progress in this area. Therefore we are continuing to invest heavily in R&D, which we are able to maintain because of our strong cash position," he said. ®

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