GENEVA, July 18 (Reuters) - Swiss inspections group SGS plans to trim its workforce by 2,000 across about 120 countries in a process of natural attrition rather than sudden cuts or corporate restructuring, company spokesman Daniel Rufenacht said on Thursday.
Chief Executive Frankie Ng was earlier quoted by Swiss newspapers Handelszeitung and Tribune de Geneve as saying an analyst report that the company could shed 2,000-3,000 of its 97,000 jobs seemed quite realistic, adding that the actual figure would probably be towards the lower end of that range.
The impact on SGS's Geneva base would be minimal, he was quoted as saying.
"It's not a restructuring, it's a streamlining of the organisation," Rufenacht told Reuters.
He said natural turnover in the workforce meant that about 14,000 people left the company of their own accord each year, giving an opportunity to reduce overall numbers without any sudden cuts.
Shares in SGS, which provides services to the agriculture, minerals and oil, gas and chemicals industries, were down 4.6% at 2,418 Swiss francs at 1506 GMT on Thursday after half-year results showed adjusted operating income up 5.4% year on year at 489 million Swiss francs ($495.5 million). ($1 = 0.9869 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Tom Miles Editing by David Goodman)