COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- Vestas A/S, the world's biggest maker of wind turbines in terms of revenues, said Thursday it will lay off around 2,300 employees, mainly in Denmark, because of a market downturn caused by the global financial crisis.
The company, headquartered in Aarhus, Denmark, said a potential slowdown in the United States could also result in the layoff of an additional 1,600 employees there.
Vestas said it will reduce its fixed costs by more than euro150 million ($190.1 million) by the end of 2012 by streamlining support functions and closing a factory to align capacity with market demand.
Aside from having already cut its 2012 sales forecasts, it has also abandoned its 2015 sales target of euro15 billion ($19.1 million) and the aim of reaching a profit margin of 15 percent.
Sluggish sales have already forced the company to slash its forecasts for 2012 twice.
The Vestas share fell around nearly 5 percent to 60 kroner ($10.3) in early trading on the stock exchange in Copenhagen.
"I am truly sorry that we have to say goodbye to so many skilled and loyal Vestas colleagues," CEO Ditlev Engel said in a statement, but noted the changes were necessary "in order to prepare for a market with low growth and increased competition."
Last year, Vestas laid off 3,000 workers after posting a 24 percent drop in the third quarter.
After the cutbacks it will have around 20,400 staff worldwide.