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Lucent Technologies is to cut another 15,000 to 20,000 jobs in an effort to trim $4 billion off its yearly costs.

The troubled US phone kit maker also plans to take a charge of up to $9 billion in the fourth quarter and to scrap its dividend from 1 September - the latter is expected to save the company $68 million a quarter.

It may also delay spinning off its Agere Systems unit for six months, according to a statement today.

Lucent has already cut around 19,500 jobs this year, including 5,000 contractor jobs.

The latest announcement means the New Jersey-based company aims to almost chop its workforce by half this year, shedding a total of around 50,000 positions.

It is to be hoped it handles the latest round of sackings better than the first - these resulted in attacks by unhappy former staff, including a bomb threat in April.

The company recorded a loss of $3.25 billion for its fiscal third quarter, from $301 million for the same period the previous year. Sales fell 21 per cent to $5.8 billion. ®

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Lucent statement

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