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December 13, 2012

FRANCE: Danone to cut costs to revitalise European business

Danone is to cut EUR200m in costs from its European operations in a bid to "win back its competitive edge" in the region after falling sales.

By Dean Best

Danone is to cut EUR200m (US$261m) in costs from its European operations in a bid to “win back its competitive edge” in the region after falling sales.

The French food giant said it would “adapt” its management structure in Europe and “reduce general and administrative costs”.

Danone said the round of cuts, combined with with its ongoing “productivity programmes”, would “free up resources to make Danone products and brands more competitive”.

The announcement comes weeks after it emerged activist US investor Nelson Peltz had acquired a 1% stake in Danone.

US billionaire Peltz often invests in FMCG companies he feels are under-valued or can improve their performance.

In the last six years, he has bought shares in the likes of Heinz, Kraft Foods and the then Cadbury Schweppes, companies he believed needed to change strategy. Peltz is often credited as the catalyst for the split of Cadbury Schweppes, which led to the creation of stand-alone confectionery firm Cadbury.

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