Philips Electronics takes a hit of £942m and axes 6000

Philips Electronics today said it is to shed 6000 jobs as it revealed writedowns of more than €1billion (£942million) on the value of its stakes in other businesses.

The group plunged deep into the red in the fourth quarter as a steep downturn hurt its consumer business.

But the Dutch company's shares rose more than 5 per cent as analysts praised it for being ahead of the curve with cost cuts, and because it kept its dividend at last year's level of 70 euro cents.

Switching off: A downturn has forced Phillips to axe 6000 jobs

Switching off: A downturn has forced Phillips to axe 6000 jobs

Philips posted a net loss of €1.5billion, its first quarterly loss since 2003 and missing even the most pessimistic estimates.

Chief executive Gerard Kleisterlee said: 'The development of our quarterly results reflects the unprecedented speed and ferocity with which the economy softened in 2008.'

The company's report followed a string of negative news from rivals such as Japan's Sony, which warned it would have a record $2.9billion (£2.1billion) annual operating loss, and Samsung, which posted its first-ever quarterly loss.

Philips said it would accelerate its restructuring programmes.

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