200 UK jobs to go at Alliance Boots as part of Europe-wide downsizing

Alliance Boots is to shed 200 UK jobs as part of moves to save £55m a year in costs.

The beauty and healthcare group said it will cut 1,500 pharmaceutical wholesale jobs across Europe, as part of its move to reduce the division’s global workforce by 10%.

The firm had already cut a quarter of these posts by the end of its financial year on 31 March.

The UK cuts come as the group, now owned by private equity house KKR, is undergoing a major “transformation” programme to boost profits.

The wholesale division, which has been hit by intense competition and regulatory changes, employs about 4,500 staff in the UK.

However, in Alliance Boot’s results released yesterday, the group announced a strong performance in its health and beauty division, increasing its trading profit by 11.6% to £953m in the year to March.

This was helped by own-brand products’ success, including No7 anti-ageing cream. Alliance Boots said it intended to recruit 1,700 staff this year.

Stefano Pessina, the executive chairman of Alliance Boots, which operates the Boots high street stores, said: “We are on track to become the world’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty group.”

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