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Thousands of jobs expected to go at Roche

swissinfo.ch

The pharmaceuticals company, Roche, is on Wednesday expected to announce thousands of job cuts in a bid to reverse its disappointing performance. The company is due to unveil a restructuring programme after the markets close.

This content was published on May 30, 2001 - 14:01

A report in Britain's Financial Times newspaper says the company is about to axe 3,000 positions in its flagship drugs division. That amounts to around eight per cent of the unit's workforce.

The restructuring will bring heavy losses at the Basel-based group's operations in the United States. There are reports that the company may also slim down its manufacturing division leading to more outsourcing, and the loss of a further 800 jobs.

The FT said a fifth of the cuts will be in Switzerland and around 40 per cent are likely to be carried out at Roche's US headquarters in Nutley in the US state of New Jersey. It is not clear where the other cuts will be made.

Other reports suggested that the company could cut as many as 8,000 jobs in total.

Roche has been contemplating a major reorganisation to try to cut costs and boost margins in pharmaceticals sector, which at 18 per cent are around half the industry average.

The restructuring programme was planned before another Swiss pharmaceuticals group, Novartis, unexpectedly bought 20 per cent of its rival's voting shares earlier this month.

Roche's difficulties stem from its failure to renew its depleted product line. At the same time, its sales force has been expanded to market several drugs that failed to come through.

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