Nikon cuts 700 jobs in Laos, Thailand to help restructure camera business

08, Jun. 2020

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

BANGKOK, NNA – Japanese optical instrument manufacturer Nikon Corp. has dismissed 700 workers at affiliates in Thailand and Laos to help restructure a slumping camera business.

Nikon slashed 500 jobs at Nikon (Thailand) Co. in the central Thai province of Ayutthaya and 200 at Nikon Lao Co. in the central-south Laos province of Savannakhet, a spokeswoman told NNA. The cuts equal about 10 percent of the workforce in each factory.

Nikon manufactures low-cost as well as higher-quality digital cameras as well as compact digital cameras at its Thai factory while assembling digital cameras and interchangeable lens units at its plant in Laos. These are Nikon’s only overseas factories that assemble digital cameras.

The camera maker is retooling worldwide to survive a moribund market and aims to cut operating expenses by 50 billion yen ($457 million) in fiscal 2021 over fiscal 2018 levels. The Tokyo-based firm intends to reduce production volume to cut fixed costs, a financial statement for the year ending in March 2020 says.

The company seeks to promote its brand strength and profitability by focusing on high value-added products, the spokeswoman said.

Nikon posted 591 billion yen in sales in the business year ending in March, down 17 percent from a year earlier. Its 7 billion yen in operating profit marks a 92 percent decrease, according to the financial statement.

Its camera business logged 225.8 billion yen in fiscal 2019 sales, 24 percent less than a year earlier, and reported a 17.1 billion yen operating loss. It attributed the loss to a shrinking camera market and a fall in demand led by the global coronavirus pandemic.

In Laos and Thailand, Nikon had offered an early retirement plan among other measures to encourage resignations.