Colgate to cut 4,500 jobs in restructuring


Consumer goods maker Colgate-Palmolive is to cut about 12 per cent of its 37,000-strong work force and close one-third of its factories worldwide as part of a four-year restructuring.

The company said it expects to take after-tax restructuring charges of $550 million to $650 million.

Colgate will also increase its investment in research and development, mainly in oral care and its Hill's pet business. Other steps include a focus on marketing and new products.

Colgate wants to improve sales and marketing, especially in markets where it sees high potential, such as Eastern Europe, Russia, China and parts of Latin America and Asia.

The company, which makes brands including Colgate tooth-care products and Palmolive cleansers, issued its first earnings warning in nearly a decade in September, due in part to higher costs especially oil.

Colgate said it expects to realise after-tax savings from the restructuring in 2005 of about $45 million. By the fourth year of its plan, Colgate expects annual savings of $250 million to $300 million after tax.