Severance costs double Motorola's pre-tax charges

Motorola's Q1 pre-tax charges have more than doubled thanks to soaring severance costs.

The electronics vendor will pay  $229 million in pre-tax charges, of which $216 million is related to severance costs.

Motorola is in the process of cutting around 5,600 jobs, 4,000 more than had been planned when the company estimated pre-tax charges of $106 million in January.

Motorola hopes to save $1.5 billion in 2009 as a result of the cutbacks, which also include freezing US pension plans and halting most salary increases.

The company yesterday announced  it had sold its biometrics division to Sagem Sécurité, a subsidiary of technology group Safran. Financial terms have not been disclosed.