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Heineken cutting 8K jobs as pandemic crimps sales

Heineken cutting 8K jobs as pandemic crimps sales
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Heineken on Wednesday revealed plans to cut 8,000 jobs as its sales around the world take a hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dutch beer brewer announced the decision after it recorded a loss of $248 million last year. The cuts amount to about 9 percent of Heineken's workforce, according to 2019 statistics, Reuters reported.

Under Heineken CEO Dolf van den Brink’s “EverGreen” plan, the company plans to focus on collecting $2.4 billion in savings through 2023 by redesigning this year, scaling down the complexity and number of products and tracking down its least effective spending.  

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The job losses will amount to a restructuring cost of $509 million, and personnel expenses will be curtailed by $424 million, according to the Wednesday release. The brewer expects its operating profit margins to rise to 17 percent by 2023. 

As bars around the world shut down amid fear of spreading the coronavirus, Heineken’s sales suffered: It moved 8.1 percent less beer in fiscal 2020 than the previous fiscal year. Revenue also dropped by almost 17 percent to $28.8 billion. 

Van den Brink, who became CEO last June, called 2020 “a year of unprecedented disruption and transition” for the company, according to The Associated Press.

He told Reuters that the COVID-19 vaccination rollout will be key to the company’s recovery, saying, “Only when the whole world is vaccinated to a certain degree can we say we really come out of it.”

Throughout the pandemic, different states in the U.S. have issued restrictions on bars, with some instituting curfews, others shutting down bars that do not also serve food and some banning indoor service or all service at bars.