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Western Australian Newspapers' Work Force Reduction to Save $9M.

When West Australian Newspapers Holdings Ltd. sought to cut 5% of its full-time staff, 8.6% accepted buyout offers -- which has the Perth-based publisher shrinking by about 90 persons and raising its expected one-time pre-tax charge from $10 million (Australian) to $13.9 million.

WAN chief Chris Wharton told The Australian that the redundancy program amounted to an incentive for those nearing retirement: "There's a lot of long-termers here. It was a good opportunity for staff who had been here a long time and were coming to the closing chapters of their career."

Wharton said the work force reduction will save about A$9 million. In May, WAN said net profit would be as much as 9% lower than it earlier indicated, mostly owing to weak advertising, especially recruitment, though the Australian quoted Wharton saying automotive and national advertising had "stabilized at good levels, and financial institutions and mobile phone companies are coming back into the ad market."

The weakness contrasts with the vigor the group's mining-oriented market has experienced. Australia's biggest state has enjoyed a healthy economy in recent years, and West Australian Newspapers Holdings saw five consecutive years of double-digit, even record, growth. One executive said last year that his company has seen approximately 25% growth in paging across its products (E&P, Jan. 2008).

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Title Annotation:West Australian Newspapers Holdings Ltd.
Publication:Editor & Publisher
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Jun 30, 2009
Words:217
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