Honeywell Int’l Inc. reports it is planning to eliminate 6,500 jobs, 5 percent of its staff worldwide, as a result of a 92-percent drop in first-quarter profits and nearly $595 million in pretax charges. The charges reduced the company’s first-quarter net income to $41 million, or 5 cents a share.

A company spokesman says Honeywell expects the job cuts to take place by the end of the second quarter. Presently, Honeywell employs approximately 125,000 people in 95 countries.

Michael Bonsignore, Honeywell chairman and CEO, says the company has not been immune to the current economic downturn. “Some of our businesses are more sensitive to end-market cycles, while others are thriving,” he says. “Most importantly for us, our core business portfolio has remained resilient despite the difficult operating environment.”

Honeywell, which has agreed to be acquired by General Electric Co. (GE), earned $415 million, or 51 cents a share, excluding special charges. The company earned $506 million, or 63 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales also slipped to $5.9 billion from $6 billion in the quarter.

Honeywell also has come under scrutiny by American and European regulators regarding the planned takeover by GE, which, if completed, is expected to solve many of the company’s problems. “Because of concerns over economic softness, we moved even more aggressively in the first quarter to reduce further our cost structure,” Bonsignore says. “We are optimistic that we will see the benefits of these actions in the second half of this year and much more so in 2002.”

Honeywell is a manufacturer of diversified technology and a provider of software and solutions.

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