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Juul to cut 30% of its workforce in bid to slash costs and boost profitability

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Juul Labs signage is seen in the window of a store in San Francisco, June 25, 2019.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Juul Labs said Wednesday it’s planning to cut about 30% of its workforce as it looks to cut costs and boost profits.

The layoffs will affect about 250 people, reducing the company’s headcount to about 650, a company spokesperson said.

This will reduce operating expenses by $225 million, the Juul spokesperson added.

Juul, which is seeking federal authorization to keep its e-cigarette products on the market, said the cuts will improve its margins and free up cash for litigation settlements.

“Today, Juul Labs is announcing a company restructuring aimed at reducing our operating costs and positioning us to continue to advance our mission during a period of regulatory and marketplace uncertainty,” the company said in a news release.

Last year, the vaping giant had its products ordered off the market by the Food and Drug Administration. Juul appealed the decision and the ban was reversed for the time being.

The company later secured enough financing from early investors to avoid bankruptcy. It also announced plans at the time to lay off nearly a third of staff.

Since then, Juul has been trying to raise more capital from investors as it awaits a decision from U.S. regulators on whether its current products can remain on the market, a company spokesperson said.

The company has also been embroiled in costly legal battles, paying over $1 billion worth of settlements to 45 states for its role in sparking a national surge in teen vaping.

Earlier this week, Juul was sued by Marlboro maker Altria Group, which previously held significant stake in Juul, for alleged patent infringement over certain e-vapor products owned by subsidiary NJOY.

In response to the suit, a Juul spokesperson told CNBC, “We stand behind our intellectual property and will continue to pursue our infringement claims.”

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