BlackBerry lays off 120 employees in Waterloo as part of cost cuts

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BlackBerry (TSX:BB) has laid off 120 employees in its product development and wireless technology divisions as part of an ongoing cost-cutting plan, the company said Monday.

The reductions were centred at its headquarters in Waterloo, Ont., where most of its staff are based.

The move is part of a plan announced last year to lower expenses, partly through the elimination of about 40 per cent of the company’s workforce.

“BlackBerry is working hard to return to profitability and we continue to optimize our resources to meet our mandatory operational targets,” the company said in a statement.

“We recognize our local employees’ hard work on behalf of our company and the difficulty of this news.”

BlackBerry has also been looking for other ways to lower costs and squeeze more money from assets as the smartphone maker tries to reposition itself with business customers.

In December, the company sold a handful of buildings to the University of Waterloo for $41 million under an agreement that would allow the company to lease back some of them for up to five years.

Earlier this month, BlackBerry sold its U.S. headquarters in Irving, Texas, to Brookfield Property Group for an undisclosed amount. The company plans to lease back at least part of the six-building location.

Blackberry is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter and full-year results March 28.

The company’s shares closed down 19 cents at $10.13 Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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