RealTime IT News

AFC Tightens Belt

Advanced Fibre Communications will cut 94 jobs, or 11 percent of its workforce, and close its Buffalo Grove, Ill., facility as demand for telecom equipment continues to lag.

A spokeswoman for the Petaluma, Calif., firm said work done at the Buffalo Grove facility will be moved to the company's other plants in California, Texas and Florida.

"Even though we were able to achieve our goals for the quarter, it was a difficult period," AFC president and CEO John Schofield said. "We saw a slower ramp in orders in the first quarter of 2003, compared with 2002.

Among the reasons, Schofield said, were: soft spending by carriers, in part because of regulatory uncertainty; a weaker-than-expected economy and war in Iraq; and a severe winter in the Midwest and East.

The company, which competes with Lucent and Nortel, among others, will take a $5 million charge in the second quarter to pay for the layoffs and facilities closings.

In the first quarter the company posted sales of $80.5 million and profits of $7.9 million, or 9 cents per share. AFC sells broadband network access equipment to more than 800 service providers worldwide.