200 jobs to go at Reader's Digest

Staff at Reader’s Digest face possible job losses following the announcement that the company is to slash 200 posts worldwide, writes Ruth Addicott.

The redundancies have been blamed on the economic downturn, which has hit revenues company-wide.

Reader’s Digest employs almost 400 staff in the UK, on its personal finance magazine MoneyWise and in its book division, as well as on its flagship title Reader’s Digest.

In a statement, chairman and CEO Thomas O’Ryder said the company would have to reduce global overheads by at least $70m (£44m) over the next two years. “As we expected, the quarter proved to be a difficult one. Problems with our core business were exacerbated by further economic weakness in most parts of the world. To address this, we are focusing on right-sizing our international operations and reducing overhead costs throughout the organisation.”

He added: “We certainly can apply many of the lessons learnt in the US with respect to reducing costs and improving operating margins.”

The company said the economic climate continued to hit revenue worldwide and that response rates were lower, causing not only revenues to fall, but operating margins as well.

Staff have been told that a “multi-phase” programme has been introduced, which could mean cuts in the London office.

A spokeswoman said no detailed plans had been announced for the UK.

Ruth Addicott

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