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Swarovski Crystal Cutting 290 Jobs

Luxury goods manufacturer blamed high inflation and the weak U.S. dollar for layoffs at its crystal cutting factory in Austria’s Alps.

VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- Luxury goods manufacturer Swarovski AG said Wednesday it plans to cut 290 jobs by the end of the year at its crystal cutting factory in Austria's Alps.

The company blamed high inflation and the weak U.S. dollar for flagging sales. By Dec. 31, it will have trimmed its Austrian work force by 10 percent to 6,000 employees through a series of layoffs, Swarovski said in a statement.

The latest cuts will affect workers at Swarovski's plant in Wattens, in the western Austrian province of Tyrol.

Worldwide, the company employed 22,000 last year, it said.

Markus Langes-Swarovski, spokesman for the executive board of Swarovski's crystal division, said the company was conducting a sweeping operational review aimed at helping it reposition itself in the luxury goods market.

Swarovski had euro2.56 billion ($3.62 billion) in turnover in 2007, the company said.

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