Diebold reported it has been cutting jobs and realigning operations over the past several months. The company reported a first quarter loss of $13.4 million on reduced sales.
Diebold said it has launched a multi-year realignment plan aimed at trimming up to $150 million from its costs.
The move includes eliminating 700 jobs from its North American operations, including about 100 locally. Diebold said most of the jobs already were cut.
The announcement coincided with Diebold reporting a first quarter loss of $13.4 million, or 21 cents per share. That compares with profits of $45.2 million, or 71 cents per share, last year. Revenue was $633.5 million, down 9.3 percent from $698.5 million posted last year.
Henry D.G. Wallace, Diebold executive chairman, told stock analysts the first quarter results were “extremely disappointing to all of us at Diebold, but it was not unexpected.”
The company said it still anticipates earnings will be flat or moderately down for the year, while revenue remains flat. Revenue is expected to rebound during the second half of the year. Improved sales combined with cost savings from the realignment plan should help the company stabilize its financial picture, executives said.
In the conference call with stock analysts, Wallace said Diebold saw problems developing during the final quarter of 2012 and began taking steps to change the company’s direction. The moves led to the dismissal of Thomas W. Swidarski as chief executive officer and creation of the chief operation officer job held by George S. Mayes Jr.
Diebold is searching for a chief executive officer, but hasn’t set a timeline for filling the post. Wallace once again said the company has met with strong candidates.
The company is working to centralize its management structure with the goal of reacting more efficiently to changes in global operations. Diebold wants to globalize its service organization to become more efficient, improve customer response times and cut costs. It also wants a global organization for its research and development.
Mayes said the company has reviewed operations and identified changes that support long-term strategies.
Wallace said the company is seeing progress on several fronts. “This is evidenced by high-profile branch transformation solutions recently adopted by large bank customers, as well as encouraging new business in electronic security,” he said.
Diebold now employs more than 1,900 people at eight locations in Stark and Summit counties.
Spokesman Michael Jacobsen said most of the 100 local job cuts already have been made. He had no information about future cuts, and noted that in some business segments Diebold has been hiring.
The company leased offices in Green to serve as headquarters for Diebold’s electronic security business, Jacobsen said. Most of the staff was transferred from existing offices, although some new hires were made.
The company eliminated 130 jobs earlier this year by selling factories in Bessemer City, N.C., and Lynchburg, Va., to a long-time supplier, Porter’s Group LLC.