Sweden’s largest food retailer ICA said it will launch a cost-cutting programme that will reduce annual costs by SKR150m as part of a larger overhaul of its organisation. ICA, which is 50% owned by the Dutch food giant Ahold, said 120 staff will lose their jobs.

ICA managing director Kenneth Bengtsson said that although ICA was heading for its best year ever, the reorganisation of the company was neccessary in order to meet future challanges. “If we are to produce better figures for next year, we will have to cut costs,” he said.
The restructuring of the ICA group, which will come in effect from Janary 1, 2001, will mean fewer layers of middle-management. More operative responsibilites will be moved further out in the organisation. HQ duties will now be limited to development, strategic planning and follow-up duties, ICA said in a statement.

In a separate statement, ICA said October sales rose 1.3% to SKr5.4b (including VAT). From the beginning of the year, sales were up 4.5% to SKr56.3bn. The like-for-like increase in the Janaury to October period was 3.6%, ICA said. October like-for-like sales were virtually unchanged.