Germany's Linde (LING.DE) will cut up 8 percent of its workforce in Germany as part of a cost-savings programme to help weather the financial crisis, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

The world's number 2 industrial gases producer previously announced it would cut 3,000 jobs worldwide from a workforce of 52,000 under an 850 million euros savings plan to partly offset falling demand for industrial gases from end-clients in the car, technology and food sectors.

The source said 500-600 of the 3,000 positions will be in Germany.

Linde's gas activities range from providing hydrogen to oil and refineries and medical gases to hospitals.

It saw a sharp fall in second-quarter operating profit, which was partly arrested by cost cuts, and forecast earnings this year would not match last year's. [ID:nL3325614]

Its bigger rival, France's Air Liquide (AIRP.PA), which expects net profit and sales levels this year to be similar to 2008, had said it would act with prudence in the short term because the economic downturn was still hitting certain sectors. [ID:LT482895]

(editing by John Stonestreet)