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Amgen (AMGN) to Cut 160 Jobs

2/1/2013 7:43:25 AM

Jan. 31--Amgen Inc. officials say the Thousand Oaks-based biotech firm is laying off 160 employees, with half of those positions in Ventura County.

The jobs being eliminated are all located in the U.S., with half in Thousand Oaks and the remainder consisting of field-based positions in other locations, Amgen spokeswoman Kristen Davis said Thursday.

Details on specific jobs being eliminated were not released but generally consist of "several corporate and support function" positions, Davis said.

Employees were notified Jan. 9 and were provided comprehensive benefits that include health insurance and career transition services, Davis said.

"Like all companies, Amgen has to adjust staffing levels to meet the needs of business," Davis said.

Davis did not have details on when the layoffs would take effect. According to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification released by the state Employment Development Department, the layoffs are scheduled to take effect by April 30.

Under the WARN law, companies are required to notify the state when 50 or more people are being laid off.

Amgen has 6,000 employees in Thousand Oaks and 16,000 worldwide, Davis said.

Haider Alawami, the city’s economic development officer, said Amgen is working with the Workforce Investment Board of Ventura County and Economic Development Cooperative-Ventura County to assist employees with local employment opportunities.

"It is always a concern when there are layoffs in Thousand Oaks," Alawami said. "Every company goes through restructuring and they have to make adjustments according to the economy. However, Amgen still remains the number one employer here in the city."

On Jan. 23, the drug maker reported higher fourth-quarter sales but 16 percent profit loss due in part to increased spending.

Net income fell 16 percent to $788 million, or $1.01 per share, compared with $934 million, or $1.08 per share, in the same period a year earlier, company officials during the conference call earlier this month.

Officials said the decline was offset by product sales, which were up 11 percent to $4.42 billion over the year.

Shares of Amgen closed at $85.46 on Thursday, up 8 cents, or 0.09 percent.

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