UPDATE 1-Husqvarna to cut 600 staff to save costs

Wed Nov 7, 2012 3:31am EST

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STOCKHOLM Nov 7 (Reuters) - Garden equipment maker Husqvarna said on Wednesday it would cut around 600 staff as it looks to offset flagging demand by reducing costs.

The company said new measures would reduce annual costs by 220 million crowns ($32.85 million) with full effect in 2014. The company will take a roughly 250 million crown charge in the fourth quarter.

Around half the redundancies will come in Sweden.

"Unfortunately we have to cut staff. The proposed measures are aimed at improving efficiency, reducing fixed costs and making a more flexible structure," chief executive Hans Linnarson said in a statement.

In October, the company announced it would focus on cutting costs as global economic uncertainty and sagging demand is seen stretching into next year.

"For 2013 cost savings are estimated at around 160 million crowns," it added.

In its third report the company said that demand in its two largest markets had continued to be challenging, with sales in North America hit by drought and those in Europe by cautious consumer sentiment and unfavourable weather. ($1 = 6.6978 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Simon Johnson, Editing by Alistair Scrutton)

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