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Interstate to Cut Jobs in Southland

June 24, 2005|From Associated Press

Interstate Bakeries Inc. said Thursday that it would consolidate its Southern California sales operations and cut about 350 jobs as part of the company's continuing efforts to reduce costs.

The Kansas City, Mo.-based company, whose products include Wonder Bread and Hostess Twinkies, said it would continue to operate its six bakeries in the region.

Interstate Bakeries previously announced cuts elsewhere that included closing some bakeries and involved about 3,650 jobs.

The company said it expects that the Southern California consolidation -- which like the earlier changes must be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Kansas City -- would be completed by Aug. 24.

The cuts are part of a continuing review of Interstate Bakeries' 10 regional profit centers.

The company estimated the cost of the Southern California consolidation at about $2.5 million, including about $1.5 million for employee severance. It said it expected to spend an additional $3.5 million in capital expenditures and for other costs related to the consolidation.

Previously, Interstate Bakeries announced plans to close bakeries in Miami, Charlotte, N.C., New Bedford, Mass., and San Francisco.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September, citing low sales and high fixed operating costs. Last week, it said it lost $24.1 million during the four weeks ended April 30, its largest one-month loss since the bankruptcy filing. Sales improved to $265 million but results were affected by costs associated with the cutbacks.

Shares of Interstate Bakeries rose 15 cents to $6.60 on Thursday.

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