Atlas Copco Cutting 3,000 Jobs

Swedish air compressor maker, which has already slashed 1,350 jobs because of weaker order intake, said Monday it will cut 3,000 jobs worldwide.

STOCKHOLM (AP) -- Swedish air compressor maker Atlas Copco AB on Monday said it will cut 3,000 jobs worldwide as it faces declining demand due to the global financial crisis.

The company, which has already slashed 1,350 jobs because of weaker order intake, said the cutbacks are expected to generate savings of around 2 billion kronor ($240 million) a year.

The company has 34,000 employees in about 20 countries, with main operations in Sweden, Belgium, China, United States and Germany.

The latest announcement, released in conjunction with its fourth-quarter earnings report, will cost around 400 million kronor to execute, it said.

Company spokesman Daniel Frykholm said nearly 1,000 of the job reductions would be made in Orebro, Karlskrona, Tierp, Ljungby and Kalmar in Sweden, but he was not immediately able to specify the locations of the 2,000 positions that would be cut abroad.

In the release, Atlas Copco said it expected a downturn in demand despite posting higher profits in the fourth quarter. Net profit more than doubled to 2.92 billion kronor, while sales rose 12 percent to 19.7 billion kronor.

"The current economic situation makes the outlook very uncertain but demand is expected to remain very weak in most industries and regions in the near term," Chief Executive Gunnar Brock said of the company's near term prospects. Brock is set to be replaced by Ronnie Leten on June 1, after having served seven years on the post.

Atlas Copco makes air compressors, industrial power tools as well as construction and mining equipment.

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