LONDON: UK-headquartered confectionery and beverages giant Cadbury Schweppes is to cut 7,500 jobs across its global operations and close around 15% of its plants.

Today’s (Tuesday) announcement also confirmed that the world’s biggest confectionery group expects to sell off its US beverage arm for around £8 billion ($15.8bn; €11.8bn). Brands such as Dr Pepper and 7-Up have attracted interest from a number of private equity consortiums.

The restructuring is a response to difficult European sales and a salmonella scare in the UK last year [WARC News: 28-June-06] - which led to a million chocolate bars being recalled and a sharp fall in profits.

Comments ceo Todd Stitzer: "The plans announced today represent the next step in transforming our confectionery company from being the biggest global confectionery company to being the biggest and the best."

The group has not given details of where the axe will fall on factories or jobs, but it calls the measures a "radical programme of cost reduction and efficiency". It expects to improve profit margins in confectionery from 10.1% to the mid-teens by 2011.

Data sourced from Brand Republic (UK); additional content by WARC staff