Pentax has this morning issued a statement following reports that its owner, Hoya, is to slash half its digital camera workforce in Japan and make cutbacks overseas.

Pentax has this morning issued a statement following reports that its owner, Hoya, is to slash half its digital camera workforce in Japan and make cutbacks overseas.

Respected business newspaper, the Nikkei, revealed that 400 jobs will go in Japan from the current total of about 800.

In addition, 300 overseas sales workers will be urged to take early retirement or be ‘reassigned’, adds the article.

Pentax has neither confirmed or denied the contents of the report which was published yesterday.

Hoya also warns that overseas sales positions will be hit.

The newspaper claims that most of the Japanese job cuts will come from ‘sales, production, management and development’.

In response, Pentax UK this morning issued a statement to Amateur Photographer which reads: ‘The recent Nikkei report regarding restructuring of Hoya’s digital camera operations restates the global announcement made at the time of the third quarter results (5 February 2009).

‘The digital camera business is hugely competitive and in the current economic climate it is right and proper for companies to evaluate their structures and costs to ensure they remain competitive in the global marketplace.

‘Pentax’s European operation will be reviewed in line with the rest of the business but it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time.’

The move is expected to save more than 5 billion yen per year, according to the newspaper report.

It is unclear how many of the overseas employees will lose their jobs.

Earlier this month we learnt that Pentax has revived plans to launch a medium format digital camera.

The firm has also declared its intention to market a new enthusiast-level digital SLR later this year.

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