AstraZeneca adds 8,000 to job-cuts toll

Want the bad news first? AstraZeneca is restructuring again, cutting more than 10,000 jobs around the world. That's in addition to the 12,600 it has already trimmed, including 8,000 in newly announced trimmings and 2,400 previously announced. The cuts are expected to save the drugmaker £1.1 billion, or $1.9 billion, each year by year's end 2013; they're stemming both from an expansion of the previously announced restructuring and from the new plan announced today, the company says in a statement.

Layoffs will hit almost every area of the business--from sales, marketing and admin, where 4,450 jobs will see the axe, to supply chain ops, which will shed 2,240 jobs. The company may shutter some research sites completely as it slices away 3,500 R&D jobs, but by transferring and relocating people, the net cut to research is expected to be around 1,800 positions, the company says in a statement. The research cuts will cost the company $1 billion, with total restructuring charges going forward expected to be $2 billion-plus.

Why the cuts? Although AstraZeneca turned in a 23 percent increase in annual pretax profits for 2009--that's the good news, by the way--it's looking at a tough 2010. Revenues are expected to suffer as generic rivals for Arimidex (breast cancer, $1.9 billion in 2009) and Pulmicrot Respules (asthma, $1.3 billion) hit the market. This year's sales are expected to come in below 2009 numbers, by a "single digits" percentage.

- get the AstraZeneca release
- find the slideshow AZ presented to analysts
- read the Financial Times piece
- see the news from Crain's Manchester
- check out Bloomberg's take