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Vestas lays off 1,300 employees in Denmark

Sluggish wind turbine sales force further job cuts at Vestas With a goal to reduce its fixed costs by more than 1.1 billion kroner by the end of the year, Vestas announced this morning that it is laying off 1,300...

With a goal to reduce its fixed costs by more than 1.1 billion kroner by the end of the year, Vestas announced this morning that it is laying off 1,300 employees at its facilities in Denmark. An additional 1,000 employees will be cut worldwide.

In Denmark, 750 salaried employees will be let go along with 550 hourly workers.

Vestas is closing a factory in the western Jutland town of Varde and trimming administrative services in Hammel, Varde, Lem, Ringkøbing and at the company’s headquarters in Aarhus.

The company blamed the layoffs on the global financial crisis and a sluggish market for wind turbines in the United States and said that support functions are being streamlined to adjust capacity to meet market demand.

In a statement released this morning, Vesta’s CEO, Ditlev Engel, expressed regrets at the job losses.

"I am truly sorry that we have to say goodbye to so many skilled and loyal Vestas colleagues," said Engel. He went on to say that the changes were necessary "in order to prepare for a market with low growth and increased competition".

Last year, Vestas laid off 3,000 workers worldwide after posting a 24 percent drop in the third quarter.

Vestas also said the slowdown in the US could result in the layoff of an additional 1,600 employees.

After today’s cutbacks, Vestas will have 5,300 employees in Denmark and around 20,400 worldwide.

In her joint press conference with European Commission president José Manuel Barroso today, PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt called the Vestas news an "enormous setback" but that Denmark and the EU should continue to make investments in green technology.

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