GE's Hungarian lighting unit will retain for another year 600 of 1,000 employees it planned to lay off this year, GE Lighting said on Friday.
The unit said it had postponed the completion of restructuring until the end of 2012 because of a temporary rise in demand for conventional lighting on global markets.
As energy efficiency rules have come into force in many countries around the world, the global capacity for conventional lighting has become significantly smaller so production lines in Hungary can supply a bigger stock of orders than earlier expected, it explained.
"Although our strategy goes beyond simple lighting sources, concentrating on comprehensive lighting systems and energy efficient products, we constantly adapt to market trends and seize all such opportunities, which serves both the company and the interest of the Hungarian workers," said GE Lighting regional chairman-CEO Phil Marshall.
GE announced in October 2009 it would lay off 2,570 workers at its lighting business in Hungary because of a European Union directive phasing out conventional, low-efficiency lighting by 2013.
At the end of 2010, the company said it would lay off 2,109 people in 2011-2012, 461 fewer than earlier planned because of investments and restructuring.
GE Lighting employs 6,600 people in Hungary.
GE Lighting said it is spending $2 million to expand production of fluorescent products, mainly for outdoor and commercial use. The investment has created 500 jobs in the past two years. The company also boosted output of energy-efficient halogen lamps, which preserved 200 jobs.
GE Hungary and its units employ about 10,000 people in Hungary. GE Capital's local unit, Budapest Bank, employs more than 3,000 people.