Hasbro cuts 170 jobs, mostly in U.S.

NEW YORK Tue Mar 6, 2012 4:45pm EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hasbro Inc (HAS.O) is cutting about 170 jobs as the second-largest U.S. toy company tries to recover from sluggish sales during the holiday season.

Eighty-two percent, or 140, of the job cuts are in the United States, according to company spokesman Wayne Charness, including "about 55" in Rhode Island where Hasbro is based.

"These moves were made to address both the under-performance in the U.S. and Canada segment, and the need for different skill sets in the company's workforce to be better aligned with a quickly evolving business," Charness said.

All employees affected will get "competitive" severance packages, including outplacement services, he said.

Hasbro will take some related charges in the first quarter, but they won't be material, he added.

The maker of Nerf foam toys and Monopoly board games suffered from weak post-Thanksgiving demand, especially for its games and puzzles, in the United States and Canada.

Larger rival Mattel also missed sales expectations in the holiday quarter, but still outperformed Hasbro and gained share from Mattel, according to data from NPD, a market research firm.

Hasbro, based in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, has 5,900 employees worldwide, including about 1,400 in that state.

Hasbro shares fell 2.8 percent to close at $34.65 on Nasdaq.

(Reporting By Dhanya Skariachan; Editing by Richard Chang)

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