PZU Insurer Plans to Cut 630 Jobs as Polish Economy Slows

PZU SA, Poland’s largest insurer, will cut as many as 630 jobs, or 5.5 percent of its workforce, as the country’s economy is set to expand at the slowest pace in more than a decade.

The state-controlled company plans to amend job contracts for a further 2,515 employees by June to reduce costs, it said in a regulatory statement today. The proposals still need to be discussed with the company’s unions, it said.

PZU, the second-best performing financial stock in Warsaw over the past year, will include the job-cut costs in its 2012 earnings, scheduled to be published on Mar. 13. Its shares rose 0.4 percent to 411.3 zloty as of 2:57 p.m., heading for the highest close in a month.

Polish companies are cutting costs and payrolls, driving the country’s unemployment to the highest in almost a year. Economic growth may decelerate to 1.5 percent this year, the weakest since 2002, according to central bank forecasts.

Utility Tauron Polska Energia SA, gas distributor Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA, Telekomunikacja Polska SA and the Polish unit of Fiat SpA were among companies that announced job cuts in the past two months.

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