Tech manufacturer Barco to slash costs

Weak U.S. dollar blamed for cost-cutting plans

BRUSSELS -- Belgian imaging technology group Barco -- which makes equipment from digital cinema projectors to broadcast studio screens -- has launched a $50 million cost-cutting plan as it attempts to battle the global economic slowdown and weak U.S. dollar.

More job cuts are expected after the group announced results that disappointed expectations for two quarters in a row. The group said profits fell by $7 million, and blamed the weak dollar for $5.6 million of the losses.

CEO Martin de Prycker warned that the company may sell some unprofitable operations. "We are looking at all kinds of opportunities, stopping developing or selling some products," he said.

The sharpest fall was at the group's media and entertainment division, where sales dropped 27% year-over-year to $92.8 million from $127.4 million. The company said the rollout of digital cinema was taking longer than expected because of economic conditions.

Barco, which also makes giant stadium and rock concert displays, was originally founded as the Belgian American Radio Corp. in 1934. Headquartered in Kortrijk, it has about 3,700 employees worldwide, and last year posted sales of $1.15 billion.
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