Danone to cut and close
Thursday plans to shut down six factories and to cut almost 1,200
jobs to trim costs and...
French dairy and biscuit company Groupe Danone SA, announced on Thursday plans to shut down six factories and to cut almost 1,200 jobs to trim costs and boost productivity as it consolidates after two years of acquisitions. The maker of LU biscuits, which has bought or increased stakes in six biscuit companies since January 1999, said it will lose about 8 per cent of its 15,000 workers within three years, and boost biscuit production to 57 per cent of capacity from 43 per cent. The job losses are approximately a fifth of the figure France's Le Monde newspaper mentioned in January. ``This reorganization is necessary to protect manufacturing competitiveness,'' the company said in a statement. By country, Danonesaid it will double production at its site in Northern Italy and close plants in Dordrecht, in the Netherlands and in Hungary. Factories in Aintree and Wigston in the U.K. and Tallaght in Ireland will be "reorganized," the company said. Danone shares fell as much as 4 euros, or 2.8 per cent, to 139.6. The stock has gained 24 per cent over the past year.