UPDATE 1-Saputo to shut Quebec cheese plant in latest cost-cut move

Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:34pm EDT

March 14 (Reuters) - Saputo Inc, Canada's largest dairy processor, said on Thursday it would close its cheese-making plant in Warwick, Quebec, in its latest cost-cutting move.

Saputo's shares dropped to their lowest level in more than two weeks in Toronto early in the day before paring losses to around C$49.75, off 0.8 percent.

The cheese plant will close in June 2014, and Saputo will integrate its production into other Quebec facilities, the company said in a release.

The closure affects 100 workers, some of whom will be offered transfers to another plant.

Montreal-based Saputo, which says it is among the top three cheese producers in the United States, said in February it would close a cheese plant in Heiden, Germany, and would close another facility in Wales, subject to a legislated consultation period. It said its European business was not profitable.

In November, Saputo said it would close a small plant in Winkler, Manitoba, in January 2014.

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