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Clariant announces more job cuts

Specialty chemicals maker Clariant said on Tuesday it was cutting 1,000 sales and administration jobs in a bid to reduce costs.

The firm said full-year sales had dropped five per cent in 2008 to SFr8.1 billion ($7.1 billion) as the economic downturn hit demand in the fourth quarter.

The job losses represent five per cent of Clariant's workforce and the company, based just outside the city of Basel, warned that more positions could be lost.

"We may well have to start another round of job cuts in 2009. The decision depends on the demand situation going forward," a spokesman said.

The move follows a 2006 "headcount reduction" of 2,200 employees and the company said it would not issue a dividend to shareholders for the year.

Clariant said it was very difficult to predict what would happen in the areas of textiles, leather, automotive and construction in the next few months.

Agrochemicals, oil services and de-icing have proven to be more resilient, Clariant said.

Clariant said it would publish its mid- and long-range targets when it releases its 2008 results and restructuring measures on February 17.

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