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Philips announces global layoffs of 2,200

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    A Dutch electronics giant said today it will increase company-wide layoffs, but the firm won't say if its hundreds of New Jersey workers will be affected.

    Amsterdam-based Philips Electronics said it will cut 2,200 jobs by 2014 as it accelerates a corporate cost-cutting initiative. Those new cuts are in addition to 4,500 layoffs announced in October 2011.

    The firm's health care and lighting units will be included in the cuts. Philips Lighting has offices in the Somerset section of Franklin and in Union, employing a total of 288 people, according to the company's website. Philips Healthcare has offices in Cherry Hill and Parsippany, totaling 76 employees.

    In an e-mail, Philips spokeswoman Amy Shanler said she could not yet provide details on which sites would be affected by the latest round of layoffs, but she did shed light on which functions won't be affected.

    "These specific cost savings will not impact our R&D activities, our customer-facing employees (e.g., sales force) and manufacturing," she said. "But I cannot give any further information on how this will work out for a particular site in a particular country. It is too early for that."

    In a corporate press release, Philips CEO Frans van Houten called the layoffs "regrettable," but said they would help make the company more competitive.

    "The identified additional overhead cost-reduction measures will help us mitigate the effects of macro-economic headwinds and changes in our pension cost accounting, while making us a more agile innovation company serving our customers effectively around the world," van Houten said in the announcement.

    The layoffs are part of a larger restructuring, which the company plans to save about €1.1 billion ($1.4 billion). Philips has more than 120,000 employees in more than 100 countries.

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