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Kraft Foods to cut 1,600 jobs in split

Chicago, January 18, 2012

Kraft Foods said that splitting into two companies would lead it to cut about 1,600 jobs in North America this year and that its 2011 profit should be slightly higher than it had previously forecast.

About 40 per cent of the job cuts come from the company realigning its US sales division, Kraft said. About 20 per cent of the jobs being cut in the US and Canada are currently open positions, the company said. The planned job cuts do not include any cuts at manufacturing facilities.

The 1,600 job cuts represent about 1.26 per cent of the company's total workforce. Kraft has about 127,000 employees, including about 46,500 in North America.

Kraft also said its 2011 net revenue would be up by about 10 per cent, as it ended the year with strong momentum around the world despite a tough operating environment.

It expects to report 2011 operating earnings per share of at least $2.28, including a penny per share hit from currency in the fourth quarter. Previously Kraft had forecast operating earnings per share of at least $2.27, excluding any potential currency impact in the fourth quarter.

Analysts, on average, had expected Kraft to earn $2.27 per share this year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Kraft's 2011 organic net revenue -- or revenue excluding the impact of acquisitions, divestitures, currency and accounting calendar changes -- should be up about 6.5 per cent, versus its prior outlook at least 6 percent.

The growth was driven by mid-single-digit percentage growth in North America and Europe, and double-digit percentage growth in developing markets, the company said.

Shares of Kraft climbed 1.7 percent to $38.42 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, hitting their highest level since early 2003.

Kraft, the largest North American packaged food company, announced plans to break up back in August.

Chief executive Irene Rosenfeld will lead the snacks business and North America president Anthony Vernon will be CEO of the North American grocery business.

The snacks business, with annual sales of $32 billion, operates in high-growth emerging markets with products like Oreo and Lu cookies, Cadbury chocolates and Trident gum.

The North American grocery business, with annual sales of $16 billion, is focused in more mature markets with products like Kraft and Velveeta cheeses, Maxwell House coffee and Capri Sun drinks.-Reuters




Tags: Jobs | US | Canada | cadbury | Kraft Foods | snacks | grocery |

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