July 4, 2012 / 9:14 PM / 8 years ago

Sanofi to cut 1,000-2,000 jobs in France: Le Figaro

Chris Viehbacher, CEO of Sanofi, attends a news conference to present Sanofi 2011 annual results in Paris, February 8, 2012. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - Drugmaker Sanofi (SASY.PA) plans to cut 1,000 to 2,000 jobs in France, according to French daily Le Figaro, the latest in a series of cost-cutting moves at the company, some of whose key drugs face increased competition from generic rivals.

The jobs targeted will be in the areas of research, the manufacturing operations of the company’s Pasteur vaccines unit and certain support operations at Sanofi’s headquarters, the newspaper said in a pre-released story from its Thursday edition, citing unnamed sources.

A Sanofi spokesman declined to comment on the report but confirmed that a meeting with the company’s works council was due to take place on Thursday, when employment perspectives in France would be discussed.

In September, Sanofi disclosed plans to shrink its R&D headcount to 10,000 from 13,000 — excluding Genzyme, the maker of drugs for rare genetic disorders, which it bought earlier this year.

Sanofi had already cut 4,000 French jobs between 2009 and 2011, Le Figaro reported.

Like other major drugmakers, Sanofi is under pressure from patent expiries as well as government cuts in health care spending.

A series of French companies have started discussing potential job cuts with their unions in recent weeks, including automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUP.PA) and Bouygues Telecom (BOUY.PA). Few layoffs had been announced in the run-up to the country’s May presidential vote, a reticence some attributed to companies’ efforts to avoid becoming a campaign issue.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sanofi announced that it was selling a 19 percent in women’s oriented consumer products company Yves Rocher for an undisclosed sum.

Reporting By Christian Plumb and Elena Berton; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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