Kimberly-Clark announced the plans as it reported earnings for the second quarter fell slightly due to a tax expense for repatriating foreign profits. Sales rose 8 percent, helped by strong sales of tissue products in North America.
The company said the changes were necessary so it can boost spending on certain core product lines and emerging markets during the next three and a half years.
Its shares rose 45 cents to $63.30 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
The multiyear restructuring plan will result in a net work force reduction of about 10 percent and include closing or selling about 17 percent of its plants worldwide by the end of 2008, the company said. In addition, another four facilities will be streamlined and seven other facilities will be expanded as some production capacity from affected facilities is transferred to them, the company said.
Kimberly-Clark aims to boost spending on baby and child care, adult care and family care, as well as accelerate growth in developing and emerging markets by focusing on high growth countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, China, Indonesia and Turkey.
These actions will result in cumulative after-tax charges of about $625 million to $775 million over a three and one-half year period beginning in the third quarter of 2005. Kimberly-Clark said annual pretax savings from the moves are expected "to increase to $300-$350 million by 2009."