Local company claims immunity from AST woes

AST's New Zealand operation will be unaffected by layoffs and branch closures planned by the company internationally.

"There is absolutely nothing changing locally. We are not looking at reducing staff numbers. They will remain the same and we are moving forward," says local company head Mike Cavanagh says.

In fact, Cavanagh says AST is increasing its sales in New Zealand, although he is not willing to supply figures.

A week ago AST reported a first-quarter loss of US$115.8 million and announced plans to lay off about 300 workers.

Revenues for the quarter, which ended March 30, were US$530 million, compared to US$670.2 million, for the same period a year ago, in which AST reported a loss of US$6.5 million, or 20 cents per share.

"It is the US that is letting us down, and this part of the world is contributing well to the company's profitability. We are enjoying some growth," Cavanagh says.

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