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Last Updated: Friday, 22 July 2005, 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
Kleenex maker to shed 6,000 jobs
A selection of well-known Kimberly-Clark brands
Most of the Kimberly-Clark jobs will be lost in North America and Europe
Kleenex tissues maker Kimberly-Clark is to axe 6,000 jobs and close or sell 20 plants as it seeks to save around $300m-$350m (200m) a year until 2009.

The Dallas-base firm said the move would help boost its nappies and health care units, and to expand business in emerging markets like India and China.

The cuts will affect 10% of employees, and should be completed by 2008.

The Huggies nappy maker also said quarterly profits fell 7%, hit by a tax charge from repatriating overseas cash.

'Next step'

Second-quarter profit dropped to $421.8m from $454.3m in the same period a year ago.

Kimberly-Clark said it will take charges of between $625m and $775m until 2008 to reduce the workforce and cut 17% of its manufacturing facilities under the restructuring.

Most of the shake-up will affect workers and plants in North America and Europe.

The company has improved profits from operations and sales as it strives to match competitors like Procter & Gamble.

"I think they have started to make some improvements both in volumes and profitability, but they apparently looked in the future and decided they wanted to take the next step," said Dan Popowics, an analyst at Fifth Third Asset Management.

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