AstraZeneca to announce further Södertälje job cuts

The 450 planned redundancies at AstraZeneca's Södertälje plant will not be enough to produce the required cost cuts, it was revealed on Saturday. As a result, more people will lose their jobs in the town, the company's head of information, Staffan Ternby, has confirmed.

The redundancies have been in the offing since AstraZeneca announced its 2006 results on February 1st. Despite strong figures for the year, the company said that 3,000 people would lost their jobs over the next three years. Now it seems that that total will rise significantly.

“It’s what everybody has been expecting – that there would be more,” said Ternby, who promised more clarity in the coming week.

It has already been decided that 700 jobs will be lost at the company’s Macclesfield plant in the UK. Where the other savings will be made is unclear, but what the company calls “the world’s biggest pill factory” – the Södertälje operation – will not be spared.

Finance web site Dina Pengar reported on Saturday that there could be as many as 850 further redundancies in Södertälje. Ternby would not comment on the speculation.

However, the site went on to say that the cuts would primarily target employees who have turned 60 and worked for 10 years in the firm. There could also be special arrangements made for people who wish to study or start their own businesses.

“We don’t want to comment on speculation about numbers and conditions. We have an ongoing internal process. We expect to be able to make a clearer statement next week,” said Ternby to TT.

The cuts, which come after a 25 percent increase in profits to 2.1 billion dollars last year, have been prompted by what the company calls ‘overcapacity’.

“The company is going well. What we’re doing now is preparing ourselves for the next decade,” said Ternby.

Apart from Södertälje, AstraZeneca has factories in 20 countries. The biggest outside Sweden are in the UK, the USA and France.