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Time is running out for Jordi

The company added wallets and accessories to its core business to diversify its product portfolio

( L'entreprise s'est diversifiée dans la création de différents objets au style "ethno helvétique". En vain.)

Time is ticking away for the Swiss watch firm, Michel Jordi - it needs to find SFr10 million ($6.3 million) to launch a new product to save the company from bankruptcy.

In an interview with the French-speaking newspaper "Le Matin", the head of the company, Michel Jordi said that the company's sales had collapsed. "No matter what we do, we lose money every month," he said.

The company, which makes ethno-design watches and goods, such as wallets and key rings, from typically Swiss materials, has seen a massive drop in sales over the past year.

"The ethno fashion wave, which made my designs a success, is over," Jordi said.

However the company's demise was sudden - it saw a 30 per cent jump in sales in the first quarter of 2001, but this changed with the events of September 11 and the collapse of Swissair. "That was the fatal blow," said Jordi.

Industry change

Over the past two years the watch industry has changed dramatically with marketing costs going through the roof.

"A small family business can no longer carve out a niche for itself in today's global market," Jordi said. "To survive it needs at least SFr100 million worth of sales each year. I don't even make half this sum."

The company, which Jordi and his business partner, Ki-Young Jordi, founded in 1988, has already been restructured in a bid to avoid going under. The Jordi family financed the plan, which saw the company shed half of its 25-strong permanent employees.

The company's board is due to meet on Thursday in its headquarters in the town of Nyon in canton Vaud, to discuss the firm's future.

swissinfo with agencies

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