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Pioneer unplugs tellies and 10,000 workers

Hopes the DJs will save its life

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Gadget maker Pioneer is axing jobs and pulling out of making flatscreen tellies because "there are no prospects for improving profitability under current conditions".

Both LCD and plasma boxes are for the chop. The Japanese firm will concentrate on car electronics, navigation, audio and professional DJ kit instead. Pioneer had a well-earned reputation for excellent telly-boxes, even if their prices were steep.

But anyone worried about their Pioneer warranty can relax - the firm will continue to support products.

The company is cutting 10,000 jobs around the world. Pioneer saw revenues in the third quarter fall 38 per cent to Y131.2bn ($1.4bn) and made a loss of $118m. The shortfall was mainly due to weak sales of car audio kit, plasma displays and DVD drives.

Pioneer has sharply cut revenue forecasts for the year and now expects to make an operating loss of Y69bn, rather than Y17bn.

It will reduce the number of production companies it deals with from 30 to 20. There will also be job cuts at headquarters. Pioneer plans to cut 6,000 jobs worldwide and reduce temporary staff by 4,000. It has already cut 5,900 permanent positions since March 31 2008, and 4,000 temporary jobs have also gone. On 31 December 2008 Pioneer employed 36,900 people.

Its UK and US factories for displays will shut in April and February respectively.

The firm will pay no bonuses to directors, and expects exec and director pay to fall some 20 per cent to 50 per cent until March 2011. Pioneer is also considered partnerships to improve its finances.

There are more details here.

The company's founder began making dynamic speakers in 1937. It changed its name to Pioneer Electronic Corporation, floated on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 1961, the following year it began selling the world's first separate stereo system.

In other recession news, Alcatel-Lucent is detailing the 1,000 job cuts it announced in December. According to Reuters Alcatel will cut 450 jobs in Europe, 450 in the US - some 198 management jobs in France will go. The company confirmed the number for France, but refused to detail where the rest of the cuts would happen. ®

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