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Pentax may halve Japan camera workforce

Mar 18, 2009 at 16:51 GMT

Pentax's parent company, Hoya, is to reduce its digital camera staffing levels in Japan to around half their current levels, according to the respected Japanese business paper, Nikkei. The report says jobs will be lost in sales, production management and development. Up to 300 sales-related jobs outside Japan may also go. The company has not discussed precise details but says the Nikkei story restates the company's restructuring plans announced with its third-quarter financial results in February.

"The digital camera business is hugely competitive and in the current economic climate it is right and proper for companies to evaluate their structures and costs to ensure they remain competitive in the global marketplace." the company said.

Hoya's financial results do not provide details of the individual businesses within Pentax, which include endoscopes, medical equipment and bio-compatible materials, as well as digital cameras. However, the summary of activities for the three months to December 08 had this to say: "For digital cameras, sales decreased due to sales decline in compact cameras, and also single lens reflex cameras recorded negative growth because of the fierce price competition in th[e] market."

Hoya's Pentax businesses have already been undergoing restructuring, in the light of Hoya's purchase of the company in 2007, with the costs of that process and the strong Japanese Yen contributing to the ¥1.4bn ($) operating loss it recorded for the three months to December.