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Logitech to cut staff by 15 per cent

The Swiss and US-based electronics company Logitech said on Tuesday it was cutting its salaried work force by 15 per cent in response to weak consumer demand.

The maker of mice, webcams and other computer peripherals – with offices in canton Vaud, western Switzerland, and Fremont, California – has about 3,500 salaried employees in a total work force of about 9,000.

The company also withdrew its previous fiscal 2009 forecasts for sales growth of six to eight per cent and operating income growth of three to five per cent. It did not provide revised targets and said it plans to update investors on its outlook during its third-quarter results briefing on January 20.

"During the December quarter the retail environment deteriorated significantly," said Gerald P. Quindlen, Logitech's president and chief executive officer.

"We expect the economic environment to worsen in the coming months and we are therefore taking significant actions to align our cost structure with what is likely to be an extended downturn."

Logitech said it would book a restructuring charge for the job cuts in its fiscal fourth quarter, adding it would detail the charge when it issues its third-quarter results.

Quindlen said the company had a strong cash position, no debt and was maintaining market share.

Logitech was founded in a farmhouse in Apples, in western Switzerland and is listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange. It has a large presence in Silicon Valley and in December announced it had produced its billionth computer mouse.

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