Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Pfizer to exit Sandwich

It’s with considerable sadness that the first major UK chemistry job cuts of the year have been announced. In their Financial Guidance and 2010 Results press release, Pfizer today announced they will be exiting the Sandwich, Kent site by 2012.

According to the UK Pfizer website, 3600 staff are based at the site – 2700 of whom work in R&D. Given the reference to PGM on this page it’s likely these figures are somewhat dated (Manufacturing vacated Sandwich in 2007, with the loss of 420 jobs). The local and national press are quoting a figure of 2400 employees - which may not include all the contractor supporting functions on-site.

The move will provide some of the $1.5bn cost savings to reduce Pfizer’s forecasted R&D spend in 2012 from $8 to $8.5bn down to $6.5 to $7bn. To further increase shareholder value, Pfizer also announced they would repurchase ~$5bn of stock, which is not expected to constrain their ability to continue dividend increases. By lunchtime, PFE shares were up over 5%.

While Pfizer, Kent County Council and a Local Enterprise Partnership pursue options for investment at the site by other companies, a significant number of scientists will be leaving the area. Some will pursue new opportunities, while others will make the decision to stay in chemistry. Over the next few weeks, LabMonkey will be looking into the former, and asks for your help with the latter.

If you know of any available positions at your company - or would like to share job adverts that you find with others - then please email me with the details and I’ll list them here. Good luck to all.

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