DuPont ( DD ) Monday said it will cut 3,500 jobs as part of a restructuring plan announced in December.

The Wilmington, Del.-based chemical company will reduce its workforce by 6%. About 500 jobs will occur through normal attrition. The company is also eliminating 450 contractor positions.

DuPont said the workforce reductions are expected to deliver about $325 million in annualized savings. Most of them will occur around midyear 2004. The company will take a one-time, second-quarter charge of approximately 17 cents to 19 cents a share covering the restructuring actions, mostly for severance costs.

In a statement, the company said: "These are difficult but necessary decisions as we align our resources with market needs and adjust the size of our infrastructure," because of the sale of its Invista textiles unit to Koch Industries. "These actions will help assure the near- and long-term competitiveness of our businesses worldwide as well as progress toward our mission of sustainable growth."

On Dec. 1, DuPont announced the first measures in what it called a "cost improvement program" to achieve $900 million in savings in 2005. On Monday, the company said it is on target to achieve that goal, with about $450 million of that amount to be achieved in 2004.

Among the changes announced in December, DuPont said it will leverage consolidate its staff functions, support services and manufacturing operations; consolidate product lines by at least 20% to improve variable margins; and increase its focus on emerging markets, especially China.

The company announces first-quarter financial results April 27. Shares closed at $43.43 last week.

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