Kraft Foods says to axe 200 jobs in Britain

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US giant Kraft Foods on Tuesday announced plans to cut about 200 jobs at its chocolate-making operations in Britain by early 2014.

Kraft, which last year bought British confectioner Cadbury, said the job losses were a result of a £50-million ($78-million, 58-million-euro) investment in the US group's British chocolate and biscuit manufacturing business.

The company added that the investment plans were designed to keep Bournville village, near Birmingham in central England, at the heart of Britain's chocolate-making industry.

Kraft will also start biscuit-making at its plant in Sheffield, northern England, with the creation of 20 manufacturing jobs.

It said in a statement that it would axe "approximately 200 roles through redeployment and a managed voluntary redundancy programme over two years from March 2012."

The US firm had sealed the Cadbury takeover -- worth £11.9 billion -- in the teeth of fierce political opposition and concerns about the future of several thousand staff employed in eight factories across Britain and Ireland.

Shortly after the takeover, Kraft closed a Cadbury factory in Somerdale, near Bristol in western England, with the loss of 400 jobs.

© 2011 AFP

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