General Mills Inc. announced a fresh restructuring plan, saying its expects to eliminate roughly 675 to 725 positions abroad, the latest round of cuts at the cereal maker, in an effort to reduce costs and invest more in innovation in its international business.
The Minneapolis-based company, which has about 43,000 employees globally, expects to post pretax restructuring-related charges of $57 million to $62 million, according to a regulatory filing Thursday.
General Mills said the new restructuring plan, which it calls “Project Compass,” targets annual costs savings of $45 million to $50 million, including roughly $25 million to $30 million for the recently started fiscal year.
The company cut about 1,400 jobs in 2014, and in January, it said it would close two plants and eliminate another 500 jobs. In 2012, the company had unveiled a previous restructuring plan and said it would cut 850 jobs.
General Mills and several other major U.S. food companies recently have been posting disappointing results, and unveiling cost-cutting programs in an effort to adapt to shifting consumer tastes and global economic challenges. Big packaged-food companies have been wrestling for years with diminished demand for established products as consumers increasingly are interested in items deemed healthier or more natural.
General Mills has said its international businesses, especially in emerging markets, are a great opportunity for growth. In fiscal 2014, they represented 30% of the company’s $17.9 billion in sales, up from 25% in 2012. General Mills plans to announce its fiscal 2015 results on Wednesday.
By Tess Stynes