Nikon To Cut 1,000 Jobs As Losses Mount

Japanese camera maker said Tuesday it will cut 1,000 jobs to try to stem losses after forecasting a $179 million net loss for the fiscal year through March 2010.

TOKYO (AP) -- Japanese camera maker Nikon Corp. said Tuesday it will cut 1,000 jobs to try to stem losses this year.

The company will slash 800 non-regular employees, such as contract and part-time workers, from its domestic manufacturing work force of 2,900 by March 2010, said company spokesman Katsuhiko Kaneko. It plans to cut another 200 from its marketing and servicing staff in Japan and overseas.

The job cuts are expected to save the company 8 billion ($84 million) in annual costs, Nikon said.

Like other Japanese exporters that have announced job cuts recently, Nikon has been battered by the unprecedented drop in global demand for the country's cars and electronics. Sony Corp. is in the midst of cutting 16,000 workers globally.

Nikon forecasts a net loss of 17 billion yen ($179 million) the fiscal year through March 2010. It posted a net profit of 28.1 billion yen last business year on sales of 879.7 billion yen.

The Tokyo-based manufacturer best known for its cameras said its precision equipment business has been hit particularly hard amid falling demand for steppers, a device used to make semiconductors.

Its restructuring efforts thus far haven't been enough to cope with deteriorating business, Nikon said.

"Nikon has decided to implement drastic measures for fixed cost reduction in every business step of production, marketing and servicing," it said in a statement.

The company will downsize its stepper production sites in Japan and reorganize servicing units in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

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