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UPDATE 1-Fiskars, Stockmann hit by weak Finnish demand
June 3, 2014 / 7:33 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Fiskars, Stockmann hit by weak Finnish demand

(Adds Stockmann job cuts, background on economy)

HELSINKI, June 3 (Reuters) - Finnish kitchen utensils and tools group Fiskars cut its profit outlook on Tuesday, while department store chain Stockmann announced new job cuts as both companies struggle with weak consumer sentiment.

The Finnish economy has fallen for two consecutive years amid export troubles and Europe’s downturn, and lately the weakness has spread to private consumption.

Fiskars said its sales in May fell below expectations. It now expects sales and core operating profit to fall this year, compared to its previous estimate of flat sales and a slight fall in profit.

“Fiskars will take determined action to drive up sales and to adjust its cost levels during the rest of the year, but based on its May sales it is unlikely that the company can regain sales lost over the first five months,” the firm said in a statement.

Meanwhile Stockmann announced it would cut about 240 jobs, adding it would start talks aimed at reducing 180 staff from support functions.

The loss-making company has lowered its full-year profit outlook and plans to revise its strategy by the end of the year.

Shares in Fiskars fell 3.1 percent in early Helsinki trade while those in Stockmann were up 2 percent. ($1 = 0.7349 euros) (Reporting By Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Matt Driskill and Louise Heavens)

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