Sony Ericsson, which announced in November that it will close its Research Triangle Park operations, reported its sixth consecutive quarterly loss this morning.
The mobile-phone joint venture of Sony and Ericsson has been losing money as competition increases in the market for smartphones. The fourth-quarter loss of $236.4 million was a slight improvement from a year earlier. Sales dropped 40 percent.
Sony Ericsson has slashed jobs and cut costs to offset slower sales. Since mid-2008, the company has trimmed 2,500 positions, including some in RTP.
Closing that campus this year will eliminate 425 more jobs. Spokeswoman Stacy Doster said the company can't comment on exactly when the RTP offices will close. Some local employees could be shifted to Atlanta, designated as the London-based company's new headquarters for the Americas.
"We will continue to focus on returning the company to profitability," CEO Bert Nordberg said in a prepared statement. "2010 will still be challenging as the full benefit of cost improvements will not impact results until the second half of the year."
The company did forecast "a slight growth" in the global handset market, as consumer buy more touchscreen phones that surf the Web, send e-mail, play music and more.