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Saab Reports 4Q Loss, Warns More Layoffs Ahead

Swedish aerospace and defense company lost $86 million in the fourth quarter, mainly hurt by charges taken for project delays, and warned it may have to cut more jobs going forward.

STOCKHOLM (AP) -- Swedish aerospace and defense company Saab AB on Friday turned to a fourth-quarter loss, mainly hurt by charges taken for project delays, and warned it may have to cut more jobs going forward.

The Stockholm-based company reported a loss of 724 million kronor ($86 million), compared with a previous profit of around 1 billion kronor in the same quarter last year. The shortfall was mainly attributed to provisions and write-downs of just over 1.5 billion kronor to account for delays in major projects.

Sales in the three-month period rose to 8.2 billion kronor from 7.4 billion kronor.

Saab, which in the previous quarter unveiled plans to cut 500 jobs in the next two years, said it needs revise the structure and resources of the company some more and warned of further layoffs.

The company, which has been targeted by bribe allegations connected to deals in the Czech Republic, Hungary and South Africa, declared it was fully cooperating with prosecutors, but that "no one at Saab has been accused of any irregularities."

In its outlook for 2009, the group expressed concerns for the development of the global economy and the government's plans to make a major overhaul of Sweden's defense.

Sales in 2009 are expected to be flat, while its profit margin is projected to drop by around 4 percentage points.

Saab sold its automobile division to General Motors Corp. in 2000. It has around 13,300 employees.

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