30. January 2012 12:48
Analysts have predicted that AstraZeneca is about to make thousands of redundancies at its two plants in Cheshire after disappointing annual results.
An official announced is expected later this week which is expected to see AZ reduce its UK workforce by around 3,000.
A spokeswoman for the pharmaceutical company declined to comment on the speculation, although AZ did release plans two years ago detailing a reduction of 10,000 global posts by 2014.
AstraZeneca, the UK’s second-biggest pharmaceutical company, has a total of 13 sites across the UK and employs around 11,000 staff.
Reports suggest AZ is set to forecast flat revenues for 2011 of around £21.3 billion and a 15% increase in pre-tax profits of approximately £8.1bn.
But the company has suffered a number of setbacks in the last twelve months in its efforts to find its next blockbuster brand. Its ovarian cancer drug olaparib was sent for further development after clinical test showed it to be ineffective. Compounds which were aimed to treat major depressive disorders also demonstrated similar disappointing results and were sent back for further research.
In the US, the company suffered further disappointment after the FDA delayed the approval of Brilinta and requested further data of the blood-thinning product before making a decision. This follows the discontinuation of motavizumab which led to a £287.2 million accounting charge, plus an additional impairment charge of £246m in Q4 of 2011 after a series of potential new products failed to materialise.
The company’s full annual results are set to be released on 2 February 2012.