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Novartis shares rise as drug maker announce job cuts

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Novartis shares are higher Tuesday, as the drug maker announced it will slash some 2,550 jobs from its Swiss and UK offices. The move is part of a global restructure as it focuses more on new and specialised drugs, rather than the more mass-market ones, such as are produced at the UK facility.

By 1150 BST, Novartis shares were 0.90% higher at CHF82.54. The stock has been higher-to-steady in recent weeks’ activity.

Novartis restructure continues

The Swiss drugs maker announced earlier Tuesday, plans to reduce its Swiss-based workforce by over 2,100 staff, with its Basel location suffering the most reductions and changes. It also said some 400 jobs based at its Grimsby site were at risk amid the ongoing global restructure, which began in 2016.

“We are continuing our efforts to transform Novartis worldwide into a more efficient and agile organization that can innovate sustainably and deliver breakthrough medicines to patients,” Novartis CEO, Vas Narasimhan said in a statement on the Swiss job cuts.

“Although it is planned to spread the planned changes over four years, we wanted to communicate them as soon as possible and in a transparent way,” Narasimhan added.

Grimsby job cuts not due to Brexit

The firm made clear that the Grimsby decision was not related to the UK’s planned exit from the EU.

“Novartis has been a part of the Grimsby community for many years so this has been a very difficult decision,” said Novartis UK Country President, Haseeb Ahmad. “

“The Grimsby site is an effective, well-running operation that is testament to the hard-working and dedicated employees. We will treat every employee with the utmost respect, sensitivity and fairness during this difficult time,” he said.

“Today’s announcement is part of a global review of our manufacturing operations and is not linked to the decision of the UK to leave the European Union,” Ahmad added.

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