AstraZeneca to axe 1,400 jobs as factories close

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Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca is to cut 1,400 jobs and close three plants in Europe as part of a programme to improve efficiency, the firm announced today.

Jobs will be affected in Macclesfield, Cheshire, and in Sweden, while the factory closures will be in Spain, Belgium and Sweden, with the jobs going by 2013.

Executive vice president David Smith said: "These moves are a continuation of AstraZeneca's programme to improve the organisation's productivity and efficiency.

"I realise these changes are difficult for our affected employees, with whom we will be consulting in the coming months. We believe these changes are necessary for the long-term strength of the business."

Around 250 jobs will be lost in Macclesfield between next year and 2013, the firm said.