Tag Heuer cuts jobs as demand for luxury watches slows

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TAG HeuerImage source, TAG Heuer

High-end watch brand Tag Heuer is cutting management and production jobs after a slowdown in demand for its luxury timepieces.

The 150-year-old brand, owned by French fashion and champagne conglomerate LVMH, has axed 46 positions.

It has also made 49 people temporarily unemployed until the end of the year.

The job losses will affect Tag Heuer's sites in La Chaux-de-Fonds and Chevenez in Switzerland, where it employs approximately 600 staff.

Jean-Claude Biver, head of LVMH watches, said watch industry sales grew by 2.7% between January and the end of August, lower than the 4% to 6% growth he had forecast for 2014 as a whole.

Mr Biver said the firm now planned to focus on its core business, namely watches priced between 1,000 and 4,000 euros (£781 and £3,124).

The cuts at Tag Heuer come after rival brand Cartier, owned by Richemont, said it would reduce working hours for 230 employees at one of its watch making factories in Switzerland due to slowing demand.

Financial analysts Kepler Cheuvreux last week cut growth assumptions for the Swiss watch market this year to 3.5% from 5.5%, mainly because of weak demand in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong represents an estimated 20% of luxury watch sales.

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