Atlanta, U.S.: Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., the world’s largest soft-drink distributor, will cut 3,500 jobs after posting its worst loss in at least 10 years.
The fourth-quarter loss was $1.71 billion(Rs7,500 crore), or $3.59 a share, the Atlanta-based bottler said in a statement on 13 February 2007.
The 3,500 job cuts, a reduction of about 4.8 percent in its workforce, will cost $300 million over the next two years.
Most of the cuts, part of a restructuring of the company’s North American operations, will come from not filling open positions, spokeswoman Laura Asman said. Coca-Cola Enterprises employs 73,000 workers.
Chief Executive Officer John Brock has struggled to halt soda sales declines in the United States as consumers switch to healthier drinks. The bottler raised prices in North America 3 percent during the quarter in response to higher costs for aluminium and sweetener. That caused volume to drop 2.5 percent, the worst in almost two years.
The company took a non-cash charge of $3.80 a share to reduce the value of its franchise licenses for bottlers the company purchased more than a decade ago.