Nestle Pakistan has cut eight percent of its workforce since the start of last year as it has been struggling with a patch of the slowest sales growth in 18 years, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.
Head of Corporate Affairs Waqar Ahmad Sheikh told Bloomberg that the Pakistan-listed company — 59 per cent of which is owned by the Swiss food giant — currently employs about 4,200 people, which is a downgrade from 4,565 people at the start of last year.
According to Bloomberg, the job cuts are the latest in Nestle’s broader restructuring as it comes under pressure from an activist investor to boost returns.
Bloomberg mentioned that the Switzerland based Vevey is emerging from a seven-year spell of slow growth which is owed to health-conscious consumers switching from mainstream labels to niche brands.
In Pakistan, the situation has been compounded by growing domestic competition and an aggressive currency devaluation, the publication said.
Overall, Nestle’s total workforce dropped to 308,000 last year from 323,000 and the company expects 700 million Swiss francs of restructuring costs this year.
Quoting Nestle Pakistan’s annual report released last month, Bloomberg said that the company has said that it is facing “increasingly difficult economic conditions and competitive pressures,” but that the long-term growth potential of the business is positive.
Company spokesman Sheikh said that the job cuts were “related to normal attrition” and that the company was replacing only critical business positions to stay competitive.