PepsiCo to cut 8,700 jobs in 30 countries, invest in brands

PURCHASE, N.Y. – PepsiCo Inc. expects to cut 8,700 jobs as part of a plan to save an extra $1.5 billion over the next three years, as it pours more money into its brands.

Its shares fell 1.1 percent to $66 in premarket trading from Wednesday’s close of $66.74 on the New York Stock exchange.

PepsiCo, maker of Sierra Mist soda, Tropicana juice and Gatorade sports drink, also reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and forecast a 5 percent decline in 2012 earnings as it increases advertising and marketing by $500 million to $600 million.

The investment will be focused on 12 brands, including Pepsi-Cola, Lay’s, Gatorade, Tropicana, Doritos and 7-UP. It is trying to improve performance in North America, where it lags behind archrival Coca-Cola Co.

For 2013, PepsiCo expects earnings to grow at a high-single-digit rate.

The job cuts will occur in 30 countries, PepsiCo said.

The $1.5 billion in extra savings is in addition to $1.5 billion it already planned to save over that period.