DuPont planning to cut 3,500 jobs by year's end

Severance programs to account for bulk of work force reduction


WILMINGTON, Del. - Chemicals giant E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. said yesterday that it will eliminate 3,500 jobs, about 6 percent of its work force, to save $325 million a year.

It also plans to cut 450 contractor positions.

By the end of this year, DuPont said, it will cut 3,000 jobs through severance programs and the other 500 by not replacing employees who were leaving.

The job cuts announced yesterday exceed by about 1,000 the company's estimated of the number of jobs it hoped to trim. Most of the jobs to be eliminated are in North America and Western Europe, DuPont said.

The cuts do not include employees in Invista, a carpet and textile fiber business that DuPont has agreed to sell to Koch Industries Inc. for $4.2 billion. That deal is to close April 30.

"These are difficult but necessary decisions as we align our resources with market needs and adjust the size of our infrastructure following the anticipated separation of Invista," said DuPont Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Charles Holliday. "These actions will help assure the near- and long-term competitiveness of our businesses worldwide, as well as progress toward our mission of sustainable growth."

DuPont said it will take a one-time charge of 17 cents to 19 cents a share in the second quarter to pay for the restructuring, mostly for employee severance costs.

The company said it is on track to lower costs by $900 million next year.

It expects to save $325 million annually from the job cuts, $375 million from cutting spending in areas such as contracting and $200 million in other areas such as simplifying production.

DuPont's shares rose 63 cents yesterday to close at $44.06 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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