Novartis to lay off 371 in UK

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Novartis is laying off 371 employees at its UK manufacturing site in Horsham. News burbled up on the In the Pipeline blog and was later confirmed by the West Sussex County Times. The company tells the Times that the layoffs are part of a company reorg that is focusing on resource alignment, also known as streamlining and finding efficiencies.

Tuesday's news tracks closely with the company's Oct. 22 earnings news, which noted that along with raising its 2013 outlook and a 4% increase in third-quarter sales compared with Q3 2012, that the drugmaker “continued to optimize” in certain cost centers. Among them: Sales and Marketing, which accounted for 24.3% of third-quarter sales compared to 24.6% of third-quarter sales in 2012, and by productivity initiatives, such as increasing capacity and shifting production, for around $730 million in savings.

The company-wide assessment also includes talk that Novartis may be interested in spinning off its animal health business. Bloomberg reports that the drugmaker has asked Goldman Sachs to explore a possible deal, but that the company would not confirm the rumor.

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