The Hamburg optician group Fielmann wants to cut hundreds of jobs. Initially, 66 jobs are to be saved through a volunteer program by June next year, said a group spokeswoman for the German Press Agency. Hundreds of other jobs will then be eliminated by 2025.

A total of 22,600 people are currently employed at Fielmann. Only central areas that are remote from customers are affected by the job cuts. Everything remains the same in the branches, and there are even hundreds of vacancies for opticians and audiologists. The business magazine “Business Insider” had reported on the plan.

The Fielmann Group wants to align its central departments with the internationally growing omnichannel model, the spokeswoman justified the job cuts. “We are digitizing, automating and standardizing our core processes in order to become cost leaders again and thus remain price leaders.”

Fielmann reported a slump in profits for 2022 just over a week ago. Group sales increased by 5 percent to EUR 1.76 billion. However, the pre-tax result fell by 23.4 percent to EUR 160.7 million compared to the previous year. The after-tax profit will be around 110 million euros and thus 23.9 percent below the previous year’s figure. Fielmann therefore intends to halve the dividend per share from EUR 1.50 to 75 cents and only pay out EUR 63 million instead of EUR 126 million. The Annual General Meeting on July 13 will have the final say.