Page last updated at 15:25 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 16:25 UK

Bang & Olufsen to cut 300 jobs

Bang & Olufsen stereo
Consumers are shunning luxury goods amid economic uncertainty

Bang & Olufsen said it will cut 300 jobs as part of a broader cost-cutting strategy, which includes focusing on a smaller range of products.

The move comes after the Danish luxury electronics maker posted its worst quarterly loss so far this decade earlier this month.

The firm said 165 of its 2,500 staff would be made redundant. The remaining cuts will be made through attrition.

The chain is struggling to cope as consumers rein in their spending.

It hopes the cost-cutting measures will save 160m crowns ($28.3m; 16.6m) a year.

"No one enjoys laying people off. On the other hand, I have to do what is necessary and best for Bang & Olufsen," said new chief executive Karl Hvidt Nielsen.

Taking the helm in August from the previous chief executive who was sacked earlier this year, Mr Nielsen is under pressure to turn around the firm's fortunes.

Under the new strategy, B&O will no longer produce mobile phones, co-branded products or hard-drive recorders.

It will focus on developing audio systems and televisions, which can cost more than 10,000, as well as sound systems for cars.

In addition, it plans to push into emerging markets, such as Russia and China, expecting to open double the number of stores in those countries in the next year or two.

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