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Swarovski to Cut 600 Jobs

Crystal giant Swarovski is to make yet another round of cuts at its production facility in Wattens, Austria, in response to worsening market conditions.

MILAN — Crystal giant Swarovski is to make yet another round of cuts at its production facility in Wattens, Austria, in response to worsening market conditions.

A Swarovski spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday that 600 more jobs were to go at the site this year, reducing the headcount to around 5,000. She added the family-owned company was mulling a further 500 layoffs there next year, although the precise number was still to be decided.

It is the fourth wave of cuts at the facility in the last 18 months, after Swarovski, which counts two-thirds of its production in the euro zone, saw revenues and earnings growth dented by the economic crisis and competition from emerging markets. There were 150 redundancies in February and more than 700 employees lost their jobs there last year.

In September, Swarovski, which has operated sites in and around Wattens since 1895, said it was to invest 120 million euros, or $163.2 million, to modernize the plant. At the time, the company also said it was considering shifting parts of its production to India or China before 2010. It has plants in eight other countries, including the Czech Republic and Thailand, and employs 23,900 people worldwide.

Last year, Swarovski generated revenues of 2.52 billion euros, or $3.7 billion. Dollar figures were converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.