Switzerland-headquartered Nycomed has announced plans to cut over 250 jobs in a bid to improve the competitiveness of its manufacturing network in Europe.

The firm said it will transfer production from two Danish and a Finnish plant to other sites which will help it reduce costs “and adapt to ever-changing requirements”. With this new strategy, Nycomed will focus technologies and capabilities at five “dedicated centres of competence” which are located in Oranienburg and Singen (Germany), Lyszkowice (Poland), Linz (Austria) and Asker (Norway). In total, 10 plants in
Europe will ensure supply, the company added.

The country which will be most affected by the change is Denmark. The plants in Grenaa and Helseholmen will be closed, while the Roskilde facility will be re-organised and capacity will be reduced. 190 positions in Denmark will go by the end of 2009.

Nycomed also noted that it will discontinue manufacturing at its Ekenas plant in Finland, and production will be transferred to Germany and Poland. Negotiations to sell the facility, where some 66 jobs are expected to go, have already started.

Barthold Piening, Nycomed’s executive vice president for operations, said the restructuring will allow the firm to remain competitive “in a tough market environment, where pressure on costs and fast market introduction has become critical”. He added that “regrettably this is not possible without a reduction of a number of positions” but “we all have to acknowledge that this change is an essential precondition to secure the long-term success of the company”.

Earlier this year, Nycomed announced that it will move production of active pharmaceutical ingredients from Singen and Linz to the Zydus Nycomed joint venture set up in India with partner Cadila Healthcare.