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Colgate-Palmolive plans to lay off 4,400 people over the next four years
Colgate-Palmolive, the world's largest toothpaste maker, plans to lay off 4,400 people over the next four years. That would cut Colgate's 37,000-person workforce by about 12 percent. Company officials say they will close about one-third of their 78 factories worldwide, says Voice of America. Colgate-Palmolive also faces increasing competition from larger rival Procter & Gamble Co. which has taken big bites of the market with an increased focus on skin-care and beauty products as well as pet care products. In September, Colgate-Palmolive issued a rare warning that its profits would fall short of expectations as it faces tougher competition and increased expenses as it headed into the last quarter of the year. During a conference call with investors, chairman and CEO Reuben Mark said that the job cuts would come mostly from manufacturing, and said that factories -- both general plants and special purpose plants -- are being closed worldwide. He added that notifications were being issued Tuesday, but didn't identify the facilities, reports San Francisco Chronicle. According to Reuters, Colgate said restructuring charges should be about $45 million in the fourth quarter and $200 million in 2005. Analysts' average earnings forecasts for the company 58 cents a share for the fourth quarter and $2.61 a share for 2005, according to Reuters Estimates. Colgate, whose other brands include Ajax and Softsoap, expects after-tax savings from the restructuring of about $45 million in 2005. By the plan's fourth year, it expects annual after-tax savings of $250 million to $300 million
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