Nikon gives a negative outlook

Tokyo, Japan – Japanese camera maker Nikon is to axe 1,000 jobs to try to stem losses.

The company plans to slash 800 contract and part-time workers from its manufacturing workforce of almost 3,000 by next March, it said in a press release. Nikon also plans to cut a further 200 marketing staff in Japan and overseas. It is hoped the cuts will save the company eight billion yen ($84 million) annually.

Nikon warns it expects to post a net loss of 17 billion yen ($179 million) for the fiscal year ending March 2010, compared with a profit of 28.1 billion yen last year.

Although best known for its cameras, Nikon blames the economic downturn for a big drop in demand for high-dollar items such as steppers used in semiconductor manufacture. As a result, the company is planning to downsize stepper production in Japan and cut back servicing operations in the US, Europe and Asia.

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