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Olympus confirms 2,700 layoffs, plans to focus on mirrorless and high-end compact cameras

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Olympus has confirmed that it will lay around 2,700 people off by March 2014.

olympus stock 1020
olympus stock 1020

We heard last week that Olympus was planning to cut 2,500 jobs, but the truth is a little worse — the company has confirmed that it'll lay off around 2,700 people by March 2014. The move represents a reduction in workforce of about 7 percent. Olympus has outlined a 5-year vision for itself, forecasting a ¥7 billion ($88 million) net profit this year and setting the ultimate goal of reaching an 11 percent operating margin by 2017.

Apart from its profitable medical equipment business, the company plans to lift its photography division by focusing on its successful range of mirrorless cameras — exemplified by recent products such as the excellent OM-D E-M5 — and higher-end compacts such as the XZ-1. This move was hinted at recently by incoming president Hiroyuki Sasa, who said that the company should trim down its point-and-shoot portfolio. Olympus has been through some tough times of late, but the announcement today at least suggests that the new board is attempting to make a break with the past.