Underwear and activewear maker Tefron is laying off around 15% of its workforce as one of a number of measures to streamline its business amid the slowdown in the global economy.

The company also intends to combine its manufacturing sites in Jordan, increase the productivity of its knitting operations, and cut manufacturing costs.

Expansion of marketing activities both European and local customers are being planned too, and a factory store will be opened in Israel to sell surplus inventory.

In a statement this-afternoon, Tefron said its actions "will reduce the effects of the global economic situation on operations" enable the company to match "resources to the anticipated level of activities in the coming year."

The company, which specialises in seamless garments for brands such as Victoria's Secret, Nike, Target, The Gap, JC Penney, Warnaco/Calvin Klein, and Reebok is struggling to turn around its business.

Last November it said third quarter losses widened to US$5.6m, from a loss of $1.7m last year, despite a 26.1% rise in sales.

Tefron attributed the loss to "the significant devaluation of the US dollar versus the New Israeli Shekel", manufacturing challenges in its Hi-Tex division, and the write-down of $2.2m in inventory.