HP Inc job losses come amid pressure in PC and printer markets
Close attention will be paid to whether Trump’s policies have affected move
The split of Hewlett Packard led to the creation of HP Inc, which took on the consumer business and also Hewlett Packard Enterprises, which serves business customers in areas such as enterprise hardware and cloud computing. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters
HP Inc, which employs some 500 people at Leixlip, Co Kildare, is a giant – and profitable – US company, which came into being after the former Hewlett Packard split in two in 2015. But the markets in which it operates – PCs and printers – are under pressure and this looks set to lead to bad news for the company’s Irish operations, when senior management brief staff today.
The split of Hewlett Packard led to the creation of HP Inc, which took on the consumer business and also Hewlett Packard Enterprises, which serves business customers in areas such as enterprise hardware and cloud computing. Investors were told the split would allow the two separate companies to concentrate more effectively on two separate businesses.
But rationalisation and cost-cutting was also part of the plan and after a round of initial cuts, HP Inc announced last October that 3,000 to 4,000 jobs were to be cut from its 50,000 worldwide staff between 2017 and 2019. It appears that the plant in Dublin is now at risk as a result of this, with sources suggesting that the company is rationalising a significant part of its operation back to the US. A request for information from the company had not been responded to by late yesterday.
Close attention will be paid to the terms of the announcement and whether the approach of new US president Donald Trump to encouraging companies to invest in the US has had any impact on the decision. Sources said that two of the company’s most senior executives have travelled from its headquarters in Palo Alto, California to brief staff today. Hewlett Packard Enterprises also has an operation in Ireland, which is not affected by the latest developments.
HP Inc is operating in the PC and printer business, both under serious pressure. To respond, it has developed a new range of laptops and is investing heavily in 3D printing, seen as a major source of future growth. It also bought Samsung Electronics’ printer business This has helped to stabilise the company’s financial position. For 2016 it reported net revenues of $48.2 billion and net earnings, or profits of $2.7 billion from continuing operations. While revenue and profit were both down on 2015, the fourth-quarter results showed revenues ahead of the same period the previous year, and earnings ahead of forecast.