US paper products giant Kimberly-Clark – makers of Andrex and Kleenex – is to axe up to 13% of its global workforce in a major restructuring programme.
The company also plans to sell or close up to 10 manufacturing plants, moving production to its remaining factories in a bid to drive up efficiency.
It is not known how many UK plants will be affected – the firm has manufacturing sites in Northfleet, Barrow and Flint, together with offices in Brighton, Reigate and West Malling.
In its annual report published today, Kimberly-Clark says the aim of the global restructuring programme is to cut the company’s structural costs and make the manufacturing supply chain less complex.
Return to growth
“Over time, the programme is expected to accelerate the company’s return to delivering sales and earnings growth in line with its global business plan objectives,” says the report.
The company hopes the cost-cutting measures to generate annual pre-tax savings of $500m to $550m by the end of 2021.
Redundancies are expected to be between 5,000–5,500, roughly 12% to 13% of current workforce, and will be spread across all the company’s global business divisions.
As part of the programme, Kimberly-Clark expects to exit or sell some low-margin businesses in the consumer tissue business.