Japan Tobacco To Cut Work Force
Feb. 01, 2000
TOKYO (AP) _ Japan Tobacco Inc. plans to cut 4,500 jobs, or 10 percent of its worldwide work force because of falling profits, declining sales at home and an unexpected slump in eastern Europe.
The cigarette and food producer, which bought RJR Nabisco's overseas tobacco business last year, said Tuesday the cuts from its global work force of 43,600 people will occur over the next five years.
The maker of Seven Stars cigarettes said it will cut overseas staff by 2,000 by the end of fiscal 2002, which ends March 31, 2003.
Domestically, it will eliminate 2,500 jobs over the next five years through attrition and early retirement incentives.
The job cuts, mostly through integrating factories and branch offices, are expected to save about $237 million annually from the fiscal year starting in April 2004, the company said.
The company's overseas operations include cigarette factories in St. Petersburg, Russia; Izmir, Turkey, and Tokyo.
Japan Tobacco has not yet decided which plants will be targeted for cuts, it said.
Privatized by the Japanese government in 1985, Japan Tobacco controls 80 percent of Japan's tobacco market and is the world's third biggest tobacco company.
Its profit growth has been stunted by declining cigarette demand in Japan and by the $7.8 billion price tag on RJR Nabisco's operations.
Also, revenue from Japan Tobacco's overseas operations fell below its forecast on falling sales in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Net profit from worldwide operations is expected to fall 35.7 percent in the fiscal year ending March 31, to 48 billion yen, or $448.6 million, from 74.63 billion yen in fiscal 1998, according to an estimate by Toyo Keizai, a financial information service.
The company said it also plans to strengthen its drug and food operations, aiming to introduce one new drug each year.