Coca-Cola Enterprises Slashing 3,500 jobs In Restructuring Effort

Company expected to spend $300 million on restructuring to deal with higher alumunim costs and shift in consumer tastes.

ATLANTA (AP) – Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE), the largest bottler of Coca-Cola Co. beverages, said Tuesday that it will cut approximately 3,500 jobs, 5 percent of the company's work force, as part of a restructuring expected to cost the company $300 million.

CCE also announced Tuesday that its fourth-quarter loss widened to $1.71 billion, or $3.59 per share, from $57 million, or 12 cents per share, a year ago, after the company booked a major impairment charge.

The job cuts had been anticipated by analysts who said the company has struggled with higher costs for aluminum and other commodities and a shift in consumer tastes away from carbonated beverages to juices, teas and waters.

The company said the restructuring would ''create a highly efficient supply chain and order fulfillment structure, and improve customer service by implementing new selling systems for many of our customers.''

CCE said it expects to report a corresponding charge of about $300 million, which will be booked in 2007 and 2008.

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