China's Hisense to cut about 23% of jobs in Europe

FILE PHOTO: A 100-inch Hisense 4K Laser Cast television displayed during the 2017 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 5, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Chinese household appliances maker Hisense will cut about 2,200 jobs in Europe by the end of the year because of a coronavirus-related demand slump, Slovenia-based Hisense Europe said on Thursday.

The company said that March orders were down by a third year on year, by almost two thirds in April and are expected to be down by a quarter in May and June.

Hisense has 9,309 employees in Europe, 5,580 of whom work in Slovenia, with the rest mainly in Serbia and the Czech Republic, the company told Reuters.

It said the number of jobs in Slovenia will be reduced by about 1,000 while roughly 1,200 jobs will be cut in other countries.

Hisense Europe now expects a loss of “several tens of millions of euros” in the first half of 2020, compared with a previously forecast profit of 1.1 million euros ($1.2 million).

“The number of employees will be reduced in all units of Hisense Europe,” the company said in a statement, adding that the process will include outsourcing, voluntary redundancy and retirement.

Slovenia has so far reported 1,366 confirmed coronavirus cases and 79 deaths. Since mid-March all schools, bars, restaurants, hotels and cultural institutions have been closed, with public transport also shut down.

Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by David Goodman