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BrightPoint making local employment cutbacks

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BrightPoint Inc. has laid off an undisclosed number of its local employees and decided not to fill another 120 open positions, the company acknowledged Thursday.

The Indianapolis-based provider of logistics for wireless devices said the staff reductions were not prompted by the recent loss of major client Cricket Communications Inc.

“It was actually an undertaking that was already underway,” BrightPoint spokeswoman Carolyn Manco said.

Manco declined to disclose the actual number of employee cuts because she said the number might change as the company continues to evaluate its costs. “It's premature for us to give a number,” she said. She did say fewer than 100 people would lose their jobs.

BrightPoint reduced its 2012 earnings forecast Feb. 22, when announcing that Cricket would take its business to another mobile-services vendor. BrightPoint handled 6.8 million devices for Cricket last year out of a total 112 million for all customers. The news pushed BrightPoint's shares down 10 percent, to $8.88 each, on Feb. 22.

Shares were up 2 cents in early trading Friday, to $8.81 each.

As of Dec. 31, BrightPoint had 2,168 full-time employees and 1,733 temporary workers in North and South America, the company said in its annual report. About 1,300 of those employees work in central Indiana. Its corporate headquarters has about 130 employees.

BrightPoint reported record revenue of $5.24 billion and handled a record number of devices last year, but Manco said BrightPoint made two deals in the past 14 months—an $80 million acquisition of refurbishing firm Touchstone Wireless LP and a $15 million investment in IT distributor Intcomex Inc.—that are prompting the company to do some reorganization.

She added that BrightPoint is also concerned about the economy in Europe. “A part of it is we're bracing ourselves,” she said.
 

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