French-Austrian biotech lab Valneva said Thursday that it would cut up to a quarter of its workforce, following the decision to suspend production of its Covid vaccine earlier this year.

The group said it was "re-sizing" its operations, "expected to result in a reduction of approximately 20 percent to 25 percent of its existing workforce."

The group has around 800 employees.

The redundancies will be from sites in Austria, Scotland and Sweden, where the group has kept Covid-19 vaccine production facilities.

Valneva was the first French company to develop a vaccine against Covid, which was approved by the EU medicines watchdog in June.

But the biotech firm said it would stop producing the vaccine in July after the European Commission decided to slash an initial order of 60 million doses to just 1.25 million.

Last September, Britain also pulled out of a deal for 100 million doses, terminating what had been Valneva's first supply agreement.

The group, which in addition produces vaccines against cholera and Japanese encephalitis, reported strong sales in the year to date of nearly 250 million euros ($249 million).

Business this year has been boosted by a continued recovery in travel vaccines after the pandemic, Valneva said.

© Agence France-Presse