COPENHAGEN, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Novozymes, the world's largest producer of industrial enzymes, announced on Wednesday that it will lay off 198 employees in January to safeguard profitablility.
In its 2016 annual report, the Copenhagen-based company said 62 of the laid-off employees are from Denmark, as the company seeks to "allocate additional resources to high-growth opportunities, primarily in emerging markets, while safeguarding profitability."
The company said it sees long-term opportunities within industrial biotechnology and will continue to invest in innovation to realize the potential of its pipeline.
"2017 will be a year with sustained investments in new innovation," said Peder Holk Nielsen, president and CEO of Novozymes. "The divisions have reviewed their strategies and made significant changes to accelerate growth, for example shifting more resources to the emerging markets."
"As a consequence, we unfortunately need to lay off 198 employees to enable investments in market opportunities in both 2017 and 2018," Nielsen said.
According to the report, the company's sales in 2016 grew by 2 percent organically from the previous year, primarily driven by Agriculture & Feed and Technical & Pharma.
Meanwhile, net profit in 2016 increased by 8 percent year-on-year to 3.05 billion Danish kroner (about 437 million U.S. dollars).
In 2017, Novozymes expects to deliver organic sales growth of 2 to 5 percent, with contributions from all five business areas.
Novozymes employs about 6,500 employees globally, and it has a market share around 48 percent.