Symantec has begun laying off workers, holding true to an earlier promise that it would cut five percent of its workforce to save about $200 million in costs.

In a January conference call with analysts, CEO John Thompson said the Cupertino, Califonia-based firm’s quarterly profits rose 25 per cent but that it planned to save additional money by slashing part of its workforce.

"In order to align costs with revenue expectations, Symantec announced plans in January to reduce its cost structure by $200 million," the security software vendor said on Thursday in a statement. "The company has identified a number of areas to achieve this target, including a five per cent cost reduction in headcount across the company. We have started implementing that reduction."

The company would not say from where the layoffs are coming, other than that the action is a "five per cent cost reduction in employee headcount across the company," Symantec spokeswoman Sherri Walkenhorst told today in an email.

She did say there "is an emphasis on minimising the impact felt by our core engineering and customer-facing teams."

Symantec employs about 17,500 employees worldwide.