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Business

Monsanto to slash jobs on fourth-quarter losses

US agricultural giant Monsanto has said it will have to cut thousands of jobs in a bid to save costs. The announcement came as the company reported hefty losses in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year.

Monsanto reported Wednesday it would have to eliminate 2,600 jobs as part of a cost-saving plan coming in response to falling sales of its biotech seeds and herbicides.

The job cuts would mean a reduction of the 22,500-strong workforce by 12 percent over the next two years.

The US agricultural company said the move would generate between $275 million (244 million euros) and $300 million in annual savings by the end of the fiscal year in 2017.

Widening losses

Watch video 03:25

GM corn for Europe (2014)

Monsanto announced the layoffs as it reported a $495-million loss for its fiscal fourth quarter, compared with a net loss of $156 million in the same period a year earlier.

In late August, Monsanto said it was abandoning its

takeover bid for Swiss competitor Syngenta

after the latter rejected an offer worth $47 billion.

A merger of the two heavyweights would have made Monsanto the world's largest producer of farming chemicals, on top of being the market leader in the seed business.

hg/jd (AP, Reuters)

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