November 21, 2008 / 4:00 PM / 10 years ago

Canada electronics profits head for 5-yr low-report

TORONTO, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The weak economy, a slowdown in production growth and declining prices will push profits in Canada’s computer and electronics industry to a five-year low in 2009, the Conference Board of Canada said on Friday.

Profits are forecast to fall by 22 percent in 2008, to just over C$1.1 billion ($859 million), and will drop another 4.6 percent in 2009, the board said. Although profits will bounce back slightly in 2010, “they will not approach 2007 levels until three years thereafter.”

Job losses are expected to begin in 2008 and will continue through 2010 as computer and electronics makers, such as Celestica (CLS.TO) and IBM Canada (IBM.N), cope with a weaker economy.

“The best news for the industry is the recent weakness of the Canadian dollar, which eases some of the pressure on slumping industry exports,” Michael Burt, associate director of the board’s industrial outlook, said in a statement.

$1=$1.28 Canadian Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Rob Wilson

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