TORONTO – Celestica Inc. reported fourth quarter revenue slipped 2% from last year to $2.2 billion. The EMS firm’s net loss shrunk to $11.7 million, from $60.8 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

During the quarter, Celestica took restructuring charges of $24 million, down from $59 million last year. The net loss included a non-cash writedown of long-lived assets of $15 million.

Although sales were down, the firm exceeded its Oct. 25 fourth quarter guidance of $2 billion to $2.15 billion.

For the year, the net loss narrowed to $13.7 million (from $151 million) on an 8% drop in revenue to $8.1 billion.

“We are pleased with the strong results our company delivered in the fourth quarter,” said president and chief executive Craig Muhlhauser, in a statement. "Since implementing our turnaround plans 12 months ago, we have undergone a major transformation, which has resulted in our best ever and industry leading inventory turns, strong margin recovery and an improving trend in returns on invested capital.”

Celestica guided for March quarter revenues of $1.7 billion to $1.9 billion, with seasonality impacts expected in communications, information technology and consumer end markets.

The company said its restructuring charges will increase $50 million to $75 million during 2008 in order to further reduce fixed costs and overhead expenses.

The company’s operating losses in its operations in Mexico improved sequentially to $4 million, from $10 million, and in Europe to $7 million, from $10 million.

Most of the restructuring charges will be taken in the second half, with expectations focused on Europe and some potential cuts in the Americas.
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