Lock maker Assa Abloy AB (ASSA-B.SK) Thursday became the latest Swedish company to make a swathe of job cuts in response to the economic downturn, announcing a new sweeping 1.18 billion Swedish kronor ($141.8 million) restructuring program that includes shutting down 15 productions units and laying off 1,800 employees.

Assa Abloy's move follows over 14,000 layoffs at truck maker Volvo AB (VOLV-B.SK), 1,200 layoffs at telecoms company TeliaSonera AB (TLSN.SK), 1,000 at engineer Alfa Laval AB (ALFA.SK), 3,000 at consumer goods maker Electrolux AB (ELUX-B.SK), and 1,000 at auto parts maker Autoliv Inc. (ALV), among others.

Assa Abloy said it will consolidate administrative support functions and move to final assembly work in the remaining 25 units in high-cost countries.

The restructuring plan is on top of measures already announced and involves an extra 600 job cuts than previously announced. The cost has risen from a previous estimate of SEK800 million. The company already booked SEK247 million booked against earnings in the third quarter.

The company expects the remaining restructuring charges to be booked in 2008 with a payback time of two to three years. It said all its divisions will be affected.

Additionally, the company said its fourth-quarter earnings will be hit by SEK80 million in one-time charges relating to the provision of supplementary lock protection in its Swedish operations.

The restructuring measures follow an expansion of the group's 2008 production structure review in high-cost countries.

Company Web site: http://www.assaabloy.com

-By Anna Molin; Dow Jones Newswires; +46 8 545 130 91; anna.molin@dowjones.com

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