Fisons and BAe shed 1,400 more jobs

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FISONS, the beleaguered pharmaceuticals company, is cutting 1,000 jobs from its pharmaceuticals division as part of a programme to save pounds 35m. At the same time British Aerospace disclosed that 421 jobs would go at its ammunition factory in Chorley, Lancashire, where 555 people are employed.

Fisons said that up to 700 of the job cuts, which will take place over the next two years, would be in Britain, with the remainder spread over its Continental and US businesses. The manufacturing plant at Holmes Chapel near Macclesfield in Cheshire will shed 250 jobs as some of the production is moved to the Fisons' French plant near Rouen. Further job reductions at the plant are likely, but not on the same scale.

The group would not give details of which other jobs would go. The pharmaceuticals division accounts for 6,400 of the group's 13,500 employees, with about 1,100 working at three sites in Cheshire and 1,050 around Loughborough, including 750 in research and development.

Patrick Egan, chairman, said the cuts were intended to increase the profitability of the division, and improve efficiency. The programme will cost pounds 15m over the next two years but will yield pounds 35m of savings - pounds 10m more than promised when Fisons first disclosed the restructuring last December. Yesterday, Fisons shares gained 2p to 140p.

The British Aerospace redundancies are the latest in a series of moves announced since the new year, including the loss of 510 jobs in the defence dynamics division and 830 jobs in the civil aircraft and aerostructures business.

BAe said that the ammunition business did not have enough work to sustain two sites and that manufacturing would be concentrated at Glascoed in Wales, leaving Chorley with research and development. The cuts at Chorley will begin almost immediately and will be phased in by the end of 1995.