Saturday, November 2, 2013
Astellas Pharma To Shrink Japan Staff By 300 In FY14
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Astellas Pharma Inc. (4503) will shed 300 employees, or roughly 4% of its group workforce at home, in the year ending March 2015, the company announced Friday.
With drug development costs expected to balloon, Astellas seeks to slim down operations to enhance competitiveness.
It will offer early retirement to domestic staffers, overhauling marketing and other back-office divisions. This will mark the first personnel cuts since 2007, when the firm axed 440 or so workers.
Astellas employed around 9,500 at the time of its 2005 creation through the merger of Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. and Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co. It plans to streamline the current 8,000-strong workforce even further.
The firm also reported that April-September group net profit fell 16% on the year to 48.1 billion yen, while sales climbed 17% to 556.7 billion yen. Domestic sales of prescription drugs dipped 2%, but the Xtandi prostate cancer drug and the Vesicare overactive-bladder treatment are selling briskly abroad. Sales in the Americas jumped 50%, while those in Europe grew 30%.
Pretax profit slid 8% to 83 billion yen, reflecting a 45.9 billion yen year-on-year rise in sales and administrative costs along with an 18.6 billion yen increase in R&D expenses.
Astellas lowered its full-year sales guidance by 15 billion yen to 1.15 trillion yen, up 15% on the year. It now sees net profit rising 21% to 100 billion yen, down 10 billion yen from the earlier forecast. Domestic drug sales are expected to remain sluggish, while extraordinary charges related to its business overhaul are poised to mount.
(The Nikkei, Nov. 2 morning edition)