By  on February 10, 2009

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

A Swarovski spokeswoman confirmed Monday that the family-owned company will reduce the site’s 5,800-strong workforce by 150 heads over the coming weeks as part of ongoing adjustments to production levels.

“These measures have already been approved by the union involved and will be carried out in the most socially responsible way possible,” the company said. Employees in Wattens already have been informed of the measures.

It is the third wave of cuts at the facility in the last 18 months. More than 700 employees lost their jobs there last year, after Swarovski, which counts two-thirds of its production in the Eurozone, saw revenues and earnings growth dented by the economic crisis and competition from emerging markets.

In September, Swarovski, which has operated sites in and around Wattens since 1895, said it was to invest 120 million euros, or $155.3 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 already 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.

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