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PepsiCo Said to Plan Job Cuts to Boost Profits as Stock Lags

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- PepsiCo Inc. may cut jobs to boost earnings, a person familiar with the plans said.

The company, led by Chief Executive Officer Indra Nooyi, hasn’t determined how many of its 300,000 global employees will be eliminated, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private.

“We are evaluating efficiencies in all areas of our operations -- including employment levels and benefits,” Peter Land, a PepsiCo spokesman, said in an emailed statement.

The evaluation is part of a business review that has been going on since last year and mirrors what other companies are doing in “today’s environment,” Land said.

PepsiCo announced Nov. 8 that it would extend a review of its 2012 and long-term business plans after costs soared and North America beverage sales stagnated. PepsiCo shares rose 1.6 percent last year, compared with a 6.4 percent gain by Coca-Cola Co., prompting calls for the company to spin off its beverages unit to boost returns.

Earlier today the New York Post reported that as many as 4,000 people would be fired.

“Information contained in certain media reports is inaccurate and any changes affecting our employees will be communicated to them first,” Land said.

Jack Horner, a spokesman for News Corp., the New York Post’s owner, didn’t immediately return phone messages seeking comment.

PepsiCo is considering whether some salaried employees will continue to receive both a pension and 401K match, the person said. The company won’t eliminate its 401K match for all employees as reported earlier by the New York Post, the person said. The company also has no plans to freeze salaries, the person said.

PepsiCo fell less than 1 percent to $66.21 at 2:23 p.m. in New York today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Duane D. Stanford in Atlanta at dstanford2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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