Circus company juggles costs

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IOL pic jan17 cirque du soleil Reuters The Cirque Du Soleil is planning to lay off 400 people.

Montreal - The Cirque Du Soleil, known for its high wire, fantastical shows worldwide, brought its employees down to earth on Wednesday with the announcement it was laying off 400 people, or eight percent of its workforce.

One of Canada's best known exports, the Cirque said it was struggling with rising costs of its productions as well as the strong Canadian dollar, which has risen to par or higher against the US dollar over the past few years.

The Cirque said it would lay off 400 of its 5 000 employees, despite posting record revenues of C$1-billion and selling more than 14 million tickets last year.

“So we are now in the process of reviewing within the company worldwide all of our expenses, to ensure that we decrease them significantly,” said Renee-Claude Menard, a spokesperson for the company.

Based in Canada's French-speaking province of Quebec, the Cirque is often credited with redefining traditional circus entertainment. It has staged travelling shows worldwide, as well operating resident shows in Florida and Las Vegas where it has longer engagements. - Reuters

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