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Logitech to cut 15 percent of workforce

Published on 07/01/2009

ROMANEL-SUR-MORGES – Swiss computer equipment group Logitech said Tuesday that it will slash its global workforce by 15 percent in 2009 after a fresh downgrade to its financial outlook.

Logitech announced restructuring plans and withdrew its already revised financial targets for the year, predicting further cuts in sales growth and operating income due to the "deepening global economic recession".

"During the December quarter, the retail environment deteriorated significantly," chief executive and president Gerald Quindlen said in a statement.

"Moreover, we expect the economic environment to worsen in the coming months and we are therefore taking significant actions to align our cost structure with what is likely to be an extended downturn," he said.

The company is planning to reduce its salaried workforce globally by 15 percent, with restructuring charges booked in the fourth quarter results and savings materialising in the first quarter of 2010, the statement added.

Founded in 1981, Logitech specialises in computer peripherals and employs about 9,400 people overall, in Europe, Taiwan and California. A company spokesman told AFP the cuts could affect about 500 salaried staff.

In October, the group slashed its outlook for 2009, putting sales and operating income growth at 6.0-8.0 percent and 3.0-5.0 percent, respectively, down sharply from earlier estimates of 15 percent for both.

Logitech did not provide new targets.

Quindlen emphasised that the company had no debt and should be in a stronger position when an economic recovery materialised.

"Although the external economic environment is more challenging than anything we’ve experienced before, we believe Logitech is very well positioned to manage through this downturn," he said.

Analysts at Bank Vontobel said the magnitude of the planned cuts indicated that the situation was "severe" and that no growth was expected this year.

[AFP / Expatica]