Octopus consults over further job losses

<p>Roughly a third of staff at Octopus Publishing Group are facing consultation over their jobs as a result of a company restructure, which will see the closure of Octopus Books USA and a slimming down of its UK operation. </p><p>It is understood that between 30-40 positions could be made redundant, although a company spokesperson confirmed only that it would be &quot;more than 20&quot;. The group has entered a 30-day period of consultation over the redundancies, and &quot;further information&quot; will be made available once concluded. </p><p>An announcement was made to London staff this morning by Octopus chief executive Alison Goff and Hachette UK chief executive Tim Hely Hutchinson. The company currently employs 110 people, having made a &quot;handful&quot; of redundancies at the end of last year. <a href="../news/78789-job-cuts-follow-octopus-reshuffle.html" target="_blank">Seven jobs were cut a year ago after the firm restructured its sales and design teams. </a></p><p>A statement from Hachette said: &quot;In light of the continued downturn in the markets for certain types of illustrated and reference books, Octopus plans to re-focus its publishing programme concentrating on and investing in the areas where it has a particularly strong presence, such as food and wine, and moving away from areas where there is no opportunity for long term growth.</p><p>&quot;Octopus has told staff that, regrettably, this will lead to the redundancy of a number of roles within the company and the closure of Octopus Books USA. Sales and distribution of Octopus titles in the US will continue to be handled by Hachette Book Group&rsquo;s Client Services Group.&quot;</p><p>According to Nielsen BookScan, Octopus saw year-on-year declines in sales of nearly 25% for the first quarter of 2010, compared with a market decline of 6%. Octopus ended last year down nearly 10% on 2008. </p><p>Last month <a href="../news/101552-octopus-relocates-to-central-london.html" target="_blank">Octopus completed its move to premises in central London, from its previous location in Canary Wharf</a>. In March, it was announced that the firm was taking on the U<a href="http://www.hachettelivre.co.uk/news/pressreleases/Octopus-Publishing-Gro... target="_blank">K book publishing arm of Australian Women&#39;s Weekly. </a></p>