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General Mills to slash up to 725 jobs

Cheerios-maker hopes to offset sluggish sales

General Mills expects to cut 675 to 725 jobs as it wrestles with sluggish sales.

The maker of Cheerios, Yoplait and Progresso said Thursday that it will record pre-tax costs of about $57 million to $62 million, mostly for employee termination benefits.

Along with other packaged food makers like Kellogg and Campbell Soup, General Mills Inc. has slashed costs to offset slowing sales growth. Net sales rose barely 1 per cent last year and the Minneapolis company expects core sales to grow at a "low single-digit rate'' this year.

Big packaged food makers are facing changing tastes and smaller players that position themselves as more wholesome or fresh.

General Mills said its current restructuring should be complete by early fiscal 2017, generating annual savings of about $45 to $50 million.

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