US food giant Kraft is to cut 6,000 jobs - 6% of its work force - and close up to 20 plants worldwide by 2007 as part of its restructuring strategy in the wake of slowing sales.

The company anticipates that the restructuring will result in pre-tax charges of as much as $1.2bn over the next three years and generate an estimated $400m in annual savings by 2006.

Kraft said it would spend $500m to $600m more on marketing in 2004 with the focus on healthier snacks.

Annual sales rose 6.2% to $8.3bn but pre-tax profit fell 8.5% to $1.3bn.