May 14, 2020 / 6:54 AM / 21 days ago

Dental implants maker Straumann sees job-cut pain as coronavirus bites

ZURICH, May 14 (Reuters) - Dental implant maker Straumann is ending its run of rapid expansion with hundreds of job cuts, the Swiss company said on Thursday, as COVID-19 closed dental offices for elective procedures and forced the industry to brace for a tough future.

Straumann will cut 9% of its global workforce, or 660 jobs in 2020, after doubling its staff over the past three years to 7,680 including via acquisitions, it said.

Late last month, the Basel-based company abandoned its 2020 outlook as sales began diving. It said fundamentals remain valid for when a recovery comes.

Straumann said previously announced measures including voluntary pay cuts by management, shorter working hours and putting spending on ice were insufficient to stem the crisis. Even after the initial crisis subsides, the company said, it fears consumers will seek lower-cost treatments as economic realities grow more muted.

"As the crisis turns into recession, we have to take further action quickly," Chief Executive Guillaume Daniellot said. "Our present cost level is too high relative to sales and we must adapt our organization to this new reality."

About 60 jobs from the company's 595-strong workforce at its Basel headquarters could be eliminated, as Straumann said it faces lower revenue streams "over a lengthy time period". (Reporting by John Miller; editing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi)

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