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CHICAGO-Global real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle is cutting its work force of 7,425 by 9% in hopes of saving at least $45 million a year. The company reported a third-quarter net loss of $6.2 million, or $0.21 a share, and a 3.4% drop in revenues to $216.6 million.

“At this time, we think it makes sense to take decisive action to reduce our annualized costs by $45 million,” says Jones Lang LaSalle President and COO Christopher A. Peacock. “The program will be tailored to the underlying conditions of each of our regions.”

Chief Financial Officer Peter C. Roberts told analysts Tuesday details of the cuts were still being worked out and not final, a memo to all employees said 278 jobs would be cut in the Americas, and affected employees will be told Friday. That would leave another 400 jobs at stake in Europe and Asia, the latter region having seen a restructuring earlier this year.

Company officials concede they are being generous with severance packages, with costs of the layoffs expected to be $40 million in the current quarter — about $60,000 a head. Roberts says laws and contracts dictate many of the foreign severance deals, but Chairman and CEO Stuart Scott admits the company is paying departing employees market rate or better. “It’s as important for the people who stay as much as those who leave.”

Jones Lang LaSalle blames the economic slowdown exacerbated by the Sept.11 terrorist attacks on the US, which has resulted in transactions being delayed, postponed or cancelled for the company’s financial performance and need for cutbacks. The capital markets, tenant representation and leasing businesses have been most affected, Peacock says, as the gap between buyer and seller expectations has widened.

However, Peacock adds the company plans to recruit new talent in 2002 for its LaSalle Investment Management and European Corporate Solutions businesses.

Jones Lang LaSalle also plans a company-wide “town hall” meeting based here Nov. 20, with participation from worldwide employees through teleconference.

For related news, click on: GlobeSt.com EXCLUSIVE: In Move to ‘Raise the Bar,’ C&W Lays Off 150 People

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