Victor Co. of Japan Ltd. plans to cull 500 people from its 7,400-strong workforce during fiscal 2005 in an effort to accelerate structural reform, company officials said Wednesday.

The cut is a 100-job tweak of the company’s decision to move up its three-year restructuring program, which initially envisaged reducing its unconsolidated workforce to 7,000 by the March 31 end of fiscal 2006.

The major manufacturer of VCRs and other consumer appliances, better known as JVC, plans to close one or two factories at home and abroad in the current fiscal year by accelerating a plan to reduce its manufacturing outlets to 24 or 25 by the end of fiscal 2006.

The factories to be closed will be picked by the end of this fiscal year, the officials said.

JVC decided to speed up its restructuring drive after it fell into the red in fiscal 2004, which ended March 31.

According to consolidated fiscal 2004 results announced Wednesday, JVC incurred a net loss of 1.86 billion yen after a logging a profit the previous year of 15.61 billion yen.

Group pretax profit plunged 63.9 percent to 7.28 billion yen on an 8.8 percent fall in sales to 840.59 billion yen.

JVC blamed the poor showing on price falls of up to around 50 percent and sluggish sales of digital video cameras in the European market.

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