* Sales directly hit by difficulties in buying countries
* Some 50 jobs to be created in parallel
* Production cuts to be sustainable
(Updates with details, background)
PARIS, Sept 21 Nexans SA (NEXS.PA), the world's biggest cable maker, said last week it will shed some 400 jobs in France and shut a production unit in a move to reorganise its activities, hard hit by the economic crisis.
The group aims to reduce the activities of Nexans France and Nexans Copper France to cap costs.
"This project aims to restore their competitiveness and ensure their future in a market... hard hit by the economic crisis," the company said in a statement.
As part of the project, 387 layoffs will take place in the production units of Clichy (Paris), Fumay (eastern France), Jeumont (northern France), Lyon (southeast France) Mehun (central France) and the Chauny production unit in Northern France which will be closed.
Some 50 jobs will also be created in Nexans France and Nexans Copper France.
Nexans France, which makes up half of its revenues from exports, has seen its sales directly hit by difficulties in traditional buying countries, the firm said.
This was made worse by the emergence of powerful local competitors in export markets and increased competition in the French market from Italian or Spanish cable makers.
"In this context, Nexans France, has seen its activity level slump by 20 percent in the first half of 2009, compared with 2008," the firm said.
"To maintain its competitiveness and have the means to continue investing in research and development and in its factories, it is essential that Nexans reduces its industrial tools in France to a lower production level which will be sustainable," it added. (Reporting by Muriel Boselli and Valerie Parent; Editing by Toby Chopra)