- The Washington Times - Monday, January 30, 2006

CHICAGO (AP) — Kraft Foods Inc., the nation’s largest food manufacturer, said yesterday it would eliminate 8,000 more jobs, or about 8 percent of its work force, and close up to 20 production plants.

Kraft said the cuts would save $700 million in annual costs atop a targeted $450 million in savings it already had hoped to achieve through a restructuring that began in January 2004.

The Northfield, Ill., company already had announced closures of 19 production facilities and the elimination of 5,500 jobs.

Kraft said yesterday that those efforts are on track, but it is expanding the restructuring plans to include more cuts.

The company said it intends to close plants in Broadmeadows, Victoria, in Australia and Hoover, Ala., but did not announce the other facilities it plans to close.

Kraft also said it would trim 10 percent of its brand portfolio.

Kraft said the cuts would cost the company $2.5 billion, bringing the total cost of its overall restructuring to $3.7 billion.

When the maker of Kraft cheese, Nabisco crackers, Oscar Mayer meats and Post cereals announced its 2004 restructuring, there had just been a shake-up at top management that followed more than a year of disappointing sales and earnings.

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