Danish footwear maker Ecco Sko A/S is laying off 1,150 people - around 10% of its production workforce - after seeing a "significant decline" in first quarter sales, the company confirmed to just-style today (6 April).

The jobs are to go at four company-owned factories which make Ecco branded shoes in Slovakia, China, Thailand and Indonesia.

The cut in capacity is in response to "the general financial crisis," a company spokesperson said, adding that "we are now adjusting production because first quarter sales were not too impressive."

He confirmed that the company intends to reinstate workers and raise production again when business improves.

The group, which employs nearly 15,000 people around the world, added that the lay-offs will not affect its 565 domestic employees.

The measures come just a couple of weeks after Ecco posted a 2% drop in annual net profit to DKK527.4m (US$95m), down from DKK537.6m a year earlier. Sales grew 3% to DKK5.37bn.

However, the firm also forecast a "significant decline" in both sales and earnings for 2009, and said figures for the first two months of this year were lower than a year ago.

In January Ecco also said it was closing its Portuguese production unit and distribution centre with the loss of 177 jobs.