Two Swedish towns hit by AstraZeneca cuts

Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca said Thursday it would slash 1,400 jobs by 2013, affecting operations in Umeå in northern Sweden, as well as Södertalje south of Stockholm.

“AstraZeneca will exit three sites, in Porrino in Spain, Destelbergen in Belgium and Umeå in Sweden,” the company said in an official statement outlining the restructuring.

Jobs will also be affected at facilities in Macclesfield, northwestern England, and Södertalje in southeastern Sweden.

“These moves will result in a net reduction across the business of 1400 positions by 2013, subject to local consultation,” the firm said.

At the same time, the group will invest more cash in its Wuxi plant in China to support continuing growth in the Asia Pacific region.

AstraZeneca executive vice president David Smith said in the statement:

“These moves are a continuation of AstraZeneca’s programme to improve the organisation’s productivity and efficiency.

“I realise these changes are difficult for our affected employees, with whom we will be consulting in the coming months. We believe these changes are necessary for the long-term strength of the business,” Smith added.