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RichA 06-08-2012 12:24 PM

Olympus cutting 2700 jobs

8 June 2012 Last updated at 06:44 ET
Olympus plans to cut 2,700 jobs

Olympus, the Japanese camera and medical equipment maker says 2,700
jobs will go as part of a five-year plan.

It lost 49bn yen ($618m; 400m) in the year to the end of March, but
forecasts a profit of 7bn yen in 2012-13.

Last year, the company admitted hiding losses of 130bn yen.

Olympus also approved on Friday a 10m settlement with former chief
executive Michael Woodford, who was sacked by the company's board
after raising the accounting irregularities.

Mr Woodford, a Briton, had filed a complaint of wrongful dismissal
against his former employer, claiming he had been fired for blowing
the whistle on the accounting scandal.

Olympus had said its decision to dismiss Mr Woodford, the company's
first foreign chief executive, had been due to a clash of culture.
High debts

Olympus, the world's biggest maker of endoscopic cameras used by
surgeons, is suffering with relatively high costs and debts.

It will reduce its global workforce by 7% by 2014, and cut the number
of its factories around the world from 30 to 18 by 2015.

In its statement, the company said it wanted to "restore its financial

Currently, shareholder money accounts for less than 5% of the company
and the rest is financed by debt.

A debt-to-equity ratio of 20% is generally considered healthy. The
group has hinted that it will ask shareholders for additional capital
in a share sale.

There had been reports that consumer electronics maker Panasonic could
buy shares in Olympus.

However, the BBC's Tokyo correspondent, Roland Buerk, said: "There's
talk of a tie-up. Panasonic has said it's not interested but Fujifilm
does seem to be interested."

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