Drugmaker AstraZeneca says to cut 1,600 jobs worldwide

18th March 2013, Comments 0 comments

British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on Monday said it would axe 1,600 jobs worldwide in a major restructuring of the group over the next three years.

The job cuts, equivalent to 2.8 percent of its global work force of 57,000 staff, would be accompanied by an expansion of research and development centres in Britain, the United States and Sweden, the London-listed firm said in a statement.

"Globally, over the 2013-2016 period, the proposed investment and associated changes announced today will lead to the relocation of nearly 2,500 roles and an overall estimated reduction in headcount in the region of 1,600 roles," it added.

The vast majority would be in Britain and the United States, while the changes were expected to incur $1.4 billion (1.08 billion euros) in one-time restructuring charges.

The programme was meanwhile expected to generate annualised benefits of approximately $190 million by 2016, the company said.

"I recognise that our plans will have a significant impact on many of our people and our stakeholders at the affected sites," chief executive Pascal Soriot said in the statement.

"We are fully committed to treating all our employees with respect and fairness as we navigate this important period of change," he added.

The announcement came two months after AstraZeneca revealed that its annual net profits had slumped on the back of patent expiries, while it also warned that sales would dive further this year.

Earnings after tax tanked 37 percent to $6.297 billion in 2012, compared with $9.983 billion in the previous year, it had announced in January.

© 2013 AFP

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