Unilever will cut up to 125 jobs in the US after announcing plans to close close its Atlanta-based spreads factory.

The group said late last week that it will close the plant by 30 June this year.

“The action is being taken to address spare capacity among Unilever US-based spreads plants,” said the firm, which produces I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Country Crock and Imperial at the site.

Unilever’s decision follows a weak performance for the group’s global food business in the final months of 2012. Spreads, in particular, saw sales drop in the fourth quarter of the year, largely because the firm lowered prices to bolster its market share in some countries.

For the 12 months to the end of December, Unilever said last week that its global profits and underlying sales rose by 7%.

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