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AstraZenca annouce job losses

2nd February 2012

Drugs manufacturer AstraZeneca has announced that it is to axe 7,300 jobs over the next two years.

It is understood that there will be up to 300 cuts in research and development at the Anglo-Swedish firms Alderley Park site in Cheshire, with further cuts at other sites in this country as part of a major restructuring programme by the company.

It follows the announcement by AstraZeneca of a fall in pre-tax profits for the three months to the end of December to $2.05bn (£1.32bn) compared with $2.28bn in 2010. Profit for the financial year was up to $12.37bn from $10.97bn the year before.

AstraZeneca is this country’s second biggest drugs manufacturer with 8,000 of its 61,000 global workforce employed in the UK at sites such as Alderley Park, Avonmouth near Bristol, Brixham in Devon, and London as well as with affiliated companies in Liverpool, Cambridge and Luton.

Blaming increased competition for the fall in fourth quarter profits, chief executive David Brennan said: “While the further expected losses of market exclusivity make for a challenging 2012 outlook, we remain committed to a long-term, focused R&D based strategy and today have announced further steps to drive productivity in all areas.”

AstraZeneca has shed thousands of jobs in two previous restructuring moves and the GMB union now fears further job losses will damage the UK economy.

Drug development by AstraZeneca has faced problems in recent times. In December, it scrapped an ovarian cancer drug and took a significant loss on an experimental antidepressant.

 

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