Amgen to cut 14 percent of work force

Aug. 15, 2007 at 6:47 PM
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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Aug. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. biotech giant Amgen Inc. said Wednesday it will cut staff by up to 14 percent, slash capital expenditures $1.9 billion and close production facilities.

The unprecedented restructuring is a result of poor sales of anemia drug Aranesp, the 27-year-old Thousand Oaks, Calif., company said.

The changes followed a taking account "of reduced revenues and appropriately lowering costs across the company,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sharer said.

The employee cuts will amount to 12 percent to 14 percent of the company’s 18,300 employees, or about 2,200 to 2,600 people.

The company did not say which production operations would close. It said it also would “rationalize” other facilities to improve efficiency.

In addition, Amgen plans to narrow its research and development focus to reflect “the highest priorities” for company growth.

The restructuring, to be substantially completed by 2008, will cause $600 million to $700 million in pre-tax charges, Amgen said.

The company also cut its 2007 earnings estimate to $4.13 to 4.23 a share, compared with year-earlier earnings of $3.90 a share. It earlier forecast 2007 earnings of $4.28 a share.

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