German men's wear manufacturer Ahlers AG has launched a major restructuring programme that is expected to generate annual savings of between EUR7-9m a year from the second half of 2009.

In a statement earlier this week, the company said the cost of the changes will reduce its profit in the current financial year.

It said the action is necessary to help it weather "challenging times," and will be combined with a focus on its premium brands such as Pierre Cardin and an upscale line for its Baldessarini brand which was spun off from Hugo Boss.

Ahlers, which operates production facilities in Poland and Sri Lanka with 2,877 employees, said its third quarter profit fell 31.6% to EUR2.342m from EUR3.423m a year earlier.

However, for the quarter to 31 August, sales rose 7.8% to EUR70.9m from EUR65.8m.

The company's retail brands also include Otto Kern, Pioneer, Pionier Sportive, Pionier Workwear, Jupiter, and Gin Tonic.