ICI will axe 225 jobs in London

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IMPERIAL Chemical Industries is to shed over 200 jobs at its headquarters in Millbank, central London.

Outlining the company's post-demerger strategy at a chemicals conference, Ronnie Hampel, ICI's chief executive, said he wanted to cut the number of headquarters' staff to 125 from its current level of 350. In 1977, the company's headquarters employed over 1,800.

A company spokesman said the 225 staff to lose their jobs would be redeployed, retrained or offered early retirement.

ICI is looking to move out of Millbank. The demerged Zeneca business is moving to London's West End later this year.

The company also announced that it had set a target for an annual average rate of return on assets employed in its core businesses of at least 20 per cent over a five-year period, following the full demerger of Zeneca.

To achieve this target, ICI said it will focus 'even more sharply' on core businesses with growth potential.