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Toll Group, the Australian logistics company bought at a hefty premium by Japan Post in a record acquisition two years ago, is to axe 1,700 jobs — more than 4 per cent of its 40,000-strong global workforce.

The cuts at Toll, which the company says will affect both back office and operational positions, follow a strategic review to address what Toll said were “significant challenges” facing the industry.

“Toll must adapt quickly,” said Michael Byrne, the company’s managing director. The restructuring, he said, was intended to transform Toll into a leaner, more competitive business and would see Toll’s five main operational divisions cut to three. “This is a tough decision that has not been taken lightly,” he added.

The job cuts are the first major management move by Mr Byrne since he took over the helm three months ago following an abrupt management shakeup.

Japan Post said: “We are confident that the implementation of the reforms that have been decided by the new management will contribute to Toll’s future growth.”

At its third quarter earnings announcement in mid-February, Japan Post confirmed how badly its international business — dominated by its Toll subsidiary — was faring. In the three quarters between January 1 and December 31 2016, operating profits plunged 60 per cent compared with the same period the previous year, dented by Australia’s sluggish economic growth.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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