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Business

German pharmaceuticals firm Merck announces job cuts

German chemicals and pharmaceuticals company Merck has announced that its massive restructuring program will also involve laying off over 1,000 employees in Germany. The firm is struggling to increase profitability.

The DAX-listed chemicals and pharmaceuticals company, which has a total domestic workforce of 10,900, added that the staff reductions would be carried out in a socially responsible manner and be completed by the end of 2015.

"The positions will be reduced mainly through voluntary resignation and early retirement schemes across all divisions and functions", the firm said in a statement.

The Darmstadt-based company stated, though, that it was still in the process of evaluating whether some of its German locations needed to be closed down, following a series of setbacks in the liquid crystals market.

Positive outlook

But Merck's restructuring drive will also include investments of 250 million euros ($315.3 million) in Germany alone over the next couple of years and global investments of 600 million euros in its pharmaceutics branch Merck Serono by 2014.

Merck had earlier raised its forecast for full-year revenues despite a difficult business environment and fierce competition with Bayer, its main rival in Germany.

It said it was counting on total 2012 revenues of 10.7 billion euros, compared to earlier estimates of 10.5 billion euros. Merck added it expected markets for innovative biopharmaceuticals and over-the-counter preparations to grow, mostly driven by increasing demand in emerging markets.

hg/pfd (AFP, Reuters, dpa)