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Weider Confirms LayoffsWeider Confirms Layoffs

June 1, 2001

1 Min Read
Weider Confirms Layoffs


Weider Confirms Layoffs

SALT LAKE CITY--Weider Nutrition International (NYSE:WNI) confirmed June 7that it had laid off a small percentage of employees in an effort to reducecosts. The exact number of laid-off employees was not disclosed, but companymanagement put the number around 20. Weider (www.weider.com)has more than 800 employees.Joe Baty, chief financial officer, explained that the move was a "minorfine tuning of [Weider's] overall infrastructure." Despite the recenttroubles with the company's Venice Beach brand sportswear business, no specificarea of the company was targeted, according to Baty. "[The layoffs] wereacross the board; they touched most aspects of the company, even if only alittle bit," he confirmed.The cuts come after two consecutive quarters of net losses in the second andthird quarters. First quarter 2001 saw a small net gain thanks to a $3 millionlitigation settlement. "We are just trying to adjust, given what ishappening in the industry and with our business," Baty said.The personnel reduction came on the heels of Weider's sale of its powdermanufacturing facilities, another move to reduce costs. The $5.5 million cashtransaction with Cornerstone Nutritional Labs LC, also based here, is expectedto help Weider reduce its investment base and debt with no increase in productcosts.Weider downplayed the significance of the staff cutbacks. "This is not amajor event in our minds; certainly nothing along the lines that happened atNatrol, Twinlab and Leiner," Baty said. He added that the company does notanticipate further layoffs but acknowledged that they are a part of ongoingbusiness, especially in tough periods. "From time to time, all companieslook at their cost structure and continuously search for ways to do things moreefficiently at less cost, without any loss in quality of course," Batystated. "It is nothing beyond that."

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