Due to a sharp decline in sales after a massive outbreak of food-poisoning last summer, Snow Brand Milk Products Co. said Friday that it will cut 1,000 jobs by the end of September and close an additional three factories by the end of March.

Snow Brand’s sales decreased 33.5 percent in fiscal 2000, which ended March 31, from the previous year to 361.55 billion yen.

The major dairy product maker reported 58.68 billion yen in pretax losses, compared with 12.2 billion yen the previous year, and 55.96 billion yen in operating losses against 11.26 billion yen a year earlier.

Its net losses came to 51.62 billion yen, compared with 23.96 billion yen the previous year.

Snow Brand President Kohei Nishi said that with the disappointing results, the company had to reinforce its restructuring plan, which was first announced in September.

The closure of the three plants — in Shizuoka, Ishikawa and Hiroshima prefectures — will reduce the number of its factories from 21 to 13 by the end of March 2002. Its Osaka plant was shut down in January.

The additional restructuring measures will trim Snow Brand’s workforce to 5,000 at the end of March 2002 from 6,400, factoring in the abolition of 1,000 jobs and the departure of about 400 staff members who reach retirement age.

Nishi said the firm may shut more factories and sales offices if necessary, but it plans to be profitable again in fiscal 2002.

According to its earnings reports for fiscal 2000, Snow Brand posted 58.94 billion yen in consolidated pretax losses, compared with 21.8 billion yen in pretax profits the previous year.

It also reported 56.12 yen in consolidated operating losses, against 20.55 billion yen in fiscal 1999.

Its consolidated losses came to 52.93 billion yen, compared with consolidated net losses of 28.54 billion yen the previous year. Group sales fell 11.4 percent to 1.14 trillion yen.

Snow Brand predicts consolidated pretax losses of 10 billion yen, consolidated net losses of 12 billion yen and group sales of 1.21 trillion yen for the current business year to March.

On a parent-only basis, it forecasts pretax losses of 12 billion yen, net losses of 12 billion yen and sales of 410 billion yen for the current business year.

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