Danone to cut 900 jobs in Europe

Evian water bottles The company plans to cut 900 administrative and management positions across 26 countries

French food and drink company Danone has said it will cut 900 jobs after weakness in southern European economies hit sales.

The owner of Activia yogurt and Evian bottled water reported sales of 20.1bn euros ($26.8bn; £17.3bn) in 2012, up 5.4% from a year earlier.

But sales in Europe fell 3% following a "severe deterioration" in consumer demand.

As a result, Danone has announced a cost-cutting plan.

The firm plans to cut about 900 management and administrative positions across 26 European countries.

"2013 will be a year of transition, with vigorous development in business in our growth markets and a drive to strengthen operations in Europe," said chairman and chief executive Franck Riboud in a statement.

The world's biggest maker of yogurts predicted its profit margins would fall again this year, with a negative trend for demand in Europe and prices of raw materials staying high.

Its sales growth in 2012 was at the lower end of its own expectations and behind the 5.9% achieved by its Swiss rival Nestle.

The company is heavily exposed to European economies, with about 38% of its sales coming from western Europe.

Sales at its Spanish dairy division were particularly weak.

The company announced in December that it was preparing a two-year cost-cutting programme to save about 200m euros.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories


Features & Analysis

  • Cerro RicoSatanic mines

    Devil worship in the tunnels of the man-eating mountain

  • Nefertiti MenoeWar of words

    The woman who sparked a row over 'speaking white'

  • Oil pumpPump change

    What would ending the US oil export ban do to petrol prices?

  • Brazilian Scene, Ceara, in 1893Sir Snapshot

    19th Century Brazil seen through the eyes of an Englishman

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SailingGame on

    BBC Capital discovers why certain sports seem to have a special appeal for those with deep pockets


  • European Union's anti-terrorism chief Gilles de KerchoveHARDtalk Watch

    Anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove on the threat from returning Islamic State fighters

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.