Unveiling its five year strategy, the France based company says it aims to cut costs in pharmaceuticals to grow its dermo-cosmetics business abroad, particularly in Asia and the US.
A spokesman for Pierre Fabre said 534 of the planned job cuts will be in France and the remainder would result from the closure of an R&D site in Barcelona.
The company's portfolio which sells in over 130 countries, includes brands like Avène, Klorane, Ducray, Rene Furterer and Drill.
Cosmetics division accounts for 55% of group revenue
Pierre Fabre has 6,500 staff in France out of 10,000 worldwide, said it would seek to avoid layoffs by offering affected employees other jobs within or outside the company.
According to Reuters, the cosmetics division accounts for 55% of group revenue and the bulk of its profit, whereas the pharmaceuticals division has seen sales fall in France since 2009.
In a recent statement, the company announced it will be focusing its R&D on dermatology, oncology and neuropsychiatry, cutting 272 jobs in southern France, which have been "insufficiently productive" up to now.
Reuters analysts report the former CEO of top French drugmaker Sanofi, Chris Viehbacher, made the same reproach to his company's R&D site in Toulouse in 2012, sparking outrage from unions and the government. Sanofi finally agreed last week to hand over the site to German outsourcing firm Evotec.
Pierre Fabre's work in cosmetics
Back in 2009, Pierre Fabre invested €71m in its manufacturing facilities near Castres, creating 150 new jobs to increase production of its' dermo-cosmetics products.
Its' plans then were to invest €71m and increase its production capacity by 60m units and develop its activities this division, especially in international markets.
The company already had a number of dermo-cosmetic brands under its belt at the time including Klorane, Avène and Glytone and continues to carry out skin care research in the area of ageing, inflammation, pigmentation and the barrier function.