Ebel Restructures Watchmaking Operation

Swiss luxury watchmaker Ebel SA announced in March that it is restructuring its watchmaking operation at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, “to create a sustainable business structure that projects profitability for the future.” The restructuring follows losses for the company over the past three years of 40 million Swiss francs (about US$31.2 million) and its acquisition earlier this year by the Movado Group, a U.S. watchmaker.

The workforce of 175 people will be reduced by 70, a 40% reduction. Ebel and the trade unions representing its workforce are negotiating a social benefits plan for employees being terminated, in accordance with Swiss labor regulations, said the company.

Ebel S.A., which does about 80 million Swiss francs (about US$62.5 million) in business annually, was purchased by the Movado Group for $47.3 million from LVMH, the French luxury goods conglomerate. By year’s end, it will be integrated into Movado Group’s worldwide operations. As part of this process, Movado initiated the restructuring of the Ebel operations in Switzerland, it said in a March 12 statement.