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Varian Semiconductor Cuts 240 Jobs

September 29, 2002

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GLOUCESTER, Mass. (AP) _ Varian Semiconductor will lay off about 240 workers, or 15 percent of its work force, due to slumping demand for semiconductors and devices used to manufacture them, the company said Friday.

Gloucester-based Varian declined to specify the locations of the cuts, which will reduce its work force to 1,370. The majority of the company’s employees work at facilities in Gloucester and Newburyport.

President and chief executive office Ernest Godshalk said he believes the company’s balance sheet is strong but ``we believe that the pace of recovery is slowing and that semiconductor unit volumes, which drive demand for our products, are uncertain.″

The company manufactures ion implantation systems, which are used to manufacture semiconductor chips. The ions are beamed onto the chips to alter their conductivity.

Varian Semiconductor had sales of $616 million last year.

Chief financial officer Robert J. Halliday said the layoffs would result in a restructuring charge of approximately $3.4 million, but reiterated revenue projections of $85 million to $105 million for the company’s September quarter and said he still expected the company to approximately break even for the quarter.

In trading Friday, shares of Varian rose 46 cents, or 3 percent, to close at $16.07 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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