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Thermo Fisher's Charges for Job Cuts Reach Approximately $155.7M in 2014

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Thermo Fisher Scientific took approximately $155.7 million in charges related to headcount reductions last year, the company said in its Form 10-K this week. 

An exact figure could not be calculated because in reporting the charges for some of its segments, Thermo Fisher included costs taken for facility consolidations with costs related to employee severance. Still, the numbers suggests a sharp increase from the $55.6 million in charges that the company took in 2013 related to job cuts. 

Thermo Fisher also did not provide a number for its headcount reductions but said that severance actions related to facility consolidations and cost-reduction steps affected about 3 percent of its workforce last year. The company currently has about 51,000 employees worldwide. 

In its document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said that in the Life Sciences Solutions segment, it took about $134.8 million in charges in 2014 "principally for severance obligations" to former employees and executives of Life Technologies, which Thermo Fisher acquired early last year. 

Meanwhile, in the Analytical Instruments segment, Thermo Fisher recorded $2.5 million in costs related primarily to "abandoned facility costs and other expenses associated with facility consolidations and employee severance." The company also took a $9.5 million charge in its Specialty Diagnostics segment for employee severance, and a $7.2 million charge in Laboratory Products and Services related to severance and abandoned facility costs. 

Lastly, Thermo Fisher had costs of $1.7 million for severance in its corporate operations, it said. 

The firm also noted that as of Feb. 26, it had identified restructuring actions that will result in charges of $70 million in 2015. It is unclear how much of those charges would be related to job cuts.