Merck announced on Oct. 22 it would cut its worldwide workforce by 7,200 jobs by 2011 as third-quarter net profit plunged 28%.
Third-quarter net profit fell to $1.09 billion from $1.52 billion a year ago, while sales fell two percent from the third quarter of 2007 to $5.9 billion.
In an ongoing effort to reduce costs, "increase efficiency and enhance competitiveness," the firm said it would slash 12% of its workforce by eliminating 6,800 active employees and 400 vacancies by the end of 2011.
Forty percent of the job cuts will be in the U.S. but research sites in Tsukuba, Japan, and Pomezia, Italy, are also set to close by the end of 2009, the company said.
The restructuring comes on the heels of one announced in 2005 and completed just last month that saw Merck shed 10,400 jobs. Its workforce stood at approximately 56,700 at the end of September.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008