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IGT announces more layoffs
by Sandra Chereb - Associated Press Writer
Jan 29, 2009 | 2966 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO — International Game Technology, the world’s largest maker of slot machines and casino management systems, announced Thursday it will lay off an additional 200 workers as the recession takes a deepening toll on the casino industry.

The layoffs in the company’s manufacturing sector will occur by April, the company said.

“We are focused on optimizing our margins so that our business is well-positioned to benefit from the future opportunities that will arise when economic conditions improve,” said Pat Cavanaugh, IGT executive vice president and chief financial officer.

“With that goal in mind, we will continue to look at all aspects of our business to improve efficiencies,” he said in a written statement.

The latest round of layoffs follows the elimination of 500 jobs in November. Combined, the Reno-based company said it has trimmed its global work force that totals roughly 5,000 people by a little more than 10 percent.

“This effort is geared to better align IGT supply chain capacity and resources to the demands of the market,” said Tony Ciorciari, executive vice president of operations. “This restructuring effort is targeted to be complete by April.”

IGT’s manufacturing functions are based mainly in Reno with some related activities in Las Vegas.

“We have no plans to change existing charters for these facilities,” Ciorciari said. “Reno is and will continue to be the main headquarters of our manufacturing function.”

Earlier this month, IGT reported net earnings for the first-quarter plunged 42 percent because of the sour economy and other one-time factors. It also lowered its guidance for the rest of the fiscal year, projecting earnings per share of $1 or slightly above — about 17 cents below Wall Street’s previous predictions.

IGT shares fell to $11.34, down 74 cents or 6.1 percent, in midday trading on Thursday.

The announcement of the new round of layoffs came a day after Moody’s Investors Service cut IGT’s outlook from stable to negative, citing lower product sales and a decline in slot machine playing levels.

“Moody’s expects gaming demand to continue falling due to recessionary pressures, and so, we expect IGT’s earnings to decline, and debt protection measures to weaken, over the next twelve months,” the ratings agency said in a statement.
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