No new cuts to manufacturing in final Merck Serono reduction

Well it's done. Merck KGaA put the finishing touches on a restructuring plan for Merck Serono that closes the Geneva half of its two-headquarters setup, but which leaves its manufacturing operations in Switzerland mostly intact.

Some minor tweaks were made to the plan first announced in February. It lowers the retirement age from 58 to 56 to help some employees, and it sets up a €30 million ($38 million) fund to support startups by axed employees, but otherwise the final result is pretty much unchanged. The company will close its headquarters in Geneva and will eliminate 500 positions and transfer another 750 to Darmstadt, Germany; Boston; Beijing; and Aubonne, Switzerland.

Plans to eliminate 80 positions at manufacturing operations in Aubonne, Corsier-sur-Vevey and Coinsins in Switzerland remain. Aubonne still picks up 130 technical manufacturing positions that had been in Geneva. It is closing its manufacturing operations in Coinsins and relocating those functions to its facility in Aubonne, the company said in a statement.

The company has emphasized the fact that it is keeping some manufacturing in Switzerland at the Aubonne and Corsier-sur-Vevey sites (both in the canton of Vaud). With the downsizing, the company expects to save €300 million ($385 million) by 2014, after accounting for the cuts with a one-time cost of €600 million. It has forecast that revenue by 2014 will rise 4% to 8% to a range of €10.35 billion to €10.7 billion.

- see the statement from Merck Serono

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