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BlackBerry announces it has laid off 120 workers in Waterloo, Ont., on Monday, March 17. The employees were part of the product development and wireless technology teams. (Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press)

BlackBerry has laid off 120 workers employed at the BlackBerry 2 building in Waterloo, Ont., on Monday.

According to a statement issued by the company, "BlackBerry is working hard to return to profitability and we continue to optimize our resources to meet our mandatory operational targets. As such, this week’s employee reductions impact BlackBerry’s U.S. and Canadian operations with approximately 120 employees in the Waterloo, Ont., area. These employees were part of BlackBerry’s product development and wireless technology team."

According to the statement, the layoffs were part of a 40 per cent workforce reduction announced in September 2013, with the reduction period ending in May 2014. 

The BlackBerry 2 building was one of five sold to the University of Waterloo in December for $41 million. A press release from the university said BlackBerry 2, along with BlackBerry 4, would be leased back to the smartphone maker for up to five years. 

BlackBerry's latest round of layoffs come before it was due to announce year-end and fourth quarter earnings for fiscal 2014 on March 28.

Earlier this year, BlackBerry put 2.2 million square feet of Canadian real estate holdings up for sale, with 78.3 per cent of those holdings in the Waterloo Region. Earlier in March, the company announced it had sold off its U.S. headquarters in Irving, Texas.