Roche Pharma redundancies to be completed by next June

Roche Pharma redundancies to be completed by next June

All employees at the Irish manufacturing arm of pharma giant Roche in Clarecastle will be made redundant by next June.

That is according to new accounts for Roche Ireland Ltd which show that the firm recorded pre-tax losses of €1.7m last year as revenues decreased by 11% to €60.29m.

A total of 132 workers were employed at the Clarecastle plant at the end of last year and the directors of the company said that decommissioning works will commence next year and continue to 2023.

The Swiss-owned pharma giant announced in 2016 that it was to close the plant at Clarecastle after it failed to secure a buyer for the site.

The facility is currently in the process of a phased close down and the directors said that this will be complete by mid-March 2020.

The accounts disclose that the firm has set aside €24m for employees not yet departed but who have an expectation of employment termination by 2020. The directors said that "this will be utilised by that date".

If the 132 employed at the end of last year stay on until next year, the average redundancy payment will be around €180,000 each.

The accounts also confirm that a decommissioning provision of €9m for the plant was recorded by the end of last year.

A note attached to the accounts states that the estimate could change substantially as new facts emerge.

Staff costs at the company last year increased from €16.8m to €17m. A breakdown of the numbers employed show that 122 were engaged in production, six in administration and four in management. Directors pay last year totalled €327,000.

Exceptional costs at the company last year totalled €2.98m and these were made up of a €1.2m write-down in property, €845,000 in severance payments and €998,000 under the heading of ‘environmental’.

The Roche group announced in November 2015 that was exiting its Clarecastle site and the Roche Ireland firm recorded a €130m impairment charge in 2015 as a result.

The Clarecastle firm received a capital contribution of €4m during last year and this followed a capital contribution of €10m in 2017.

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