Sony blames strength of pound for job losses

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The Independent Online

Sony has announced that 400 workers at its plant in South Wales are to lose their jobs, blaming "increased exchange rate volatility" for the decision.

Sony has announced that 400 workers at its plant in South Wales are to lose their jobs, blaming "increased exchange rate volatility" for the decision.

The Japanese electronics giant said that the fluctuating value of the pound and stiff competition were to blame for the staff cuts. The South Wales plant makes top of the range televisions and computer screens. The Japanese company has indicated that it wants to concentrate further on making digital TVs and professsional TV cameras.

Tony Abbott, managing director of Sony Manufacturing UK, said: "We are very sad that so many of our colleagues are having to leave. The reorganisation was very necessary if we are to remain a major economic force in South Wales. This is an opportunity to prepare for the future."

Pro-Euro campaigners said that the decision showed that Britain's decision to stay outside the single currency was already having an adverse effect on inward investment.

"This is bad news, and shows that the pound's volatility outside the euro is really starting to bite," said Lord Simon of Highbury, vice chair of Britain in Europe. "Sony's announcement is a disturbing forewarning of what the pounds' volatility could mean for inward investment in Britain."

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