Nielsen Holdings plc today announced a broad-based optimization plan to drive permanent cost savings and operational efficiencies, as well as to position the Company for greater profitability and growth.
Nielsen is prioritizing resources to focus on key strategic initiatives, higher margin products and services, and greater efficiency. As part of the plan, the Company will exit several smaller, underperforming markets and non-core businesses in the second half of 2020. Nielsen expects the plan to be substantially completed in 2020 and for restructuring actions and other permanent cost-saving initiatives to drive approximately $250 million in pre-tax annual run-rate savings.
Nielsen now expects 2020 pre-tax restructuring charges of $150 to $170 million versus guidance of $120 to $140 million provided in April 2020. Approximately half of these charges were incurred in the second quarter and are mostly employee severance costs. The optimization plan includes a global reduction in force of approximately 3,500 employees. Cash payments for the severance costs will continue into late 2021.
The guidance provided on April 30, 2020 already incorporated the impact of the optimization plan, with the exception of the market and business exits announced today. These exits are the primary driver of the higher guidance range for 2020 restructuring versus previous expectations. The impact of these exits is expected to be no more than 100 basis points to 2020 revenue growth, with an immaterial impact on 2020 adjusted EBITDA. Nielsen also estimates $40 to $50 million of non-cash, pre-tax impairment charges in the second quarter related to these planned exits.
Nielsen expects overall second quarter financial results to be in line with commentary provided on the first quarter earnings call. The company plans to provide a detailed update on second quarter results and the 2020 outlook on the second quarter earnings call on August 5, 2020.