Coca-Cola Enterprises has confirmed it plans to axe 240 jobs - just over 5% of its GB workforce - as it revealed a deepening decline in sales.

The soft drinks giant is consulting staff over the redundancies, part of a shake-up that The Grocer understands will see CCE’s five regional divisions reduced to two - north and south.

The changes would “simplify” the structure of its commercial function, it said. “We have only just started consultations with our employee representative bodies, but if these changes are implemented they could result in the loss of 240 jobs from a total workforce in GB of more than 4,600,” said a spokeswoman. “We will work closely with customers to ensure the highest-possible service levels as we move to our new structure.”

The move follows a disappointing year for the company, with its Olympics sponsorship failing to ignite the expected sales growth.

This week, CCE reported that volume sales had fallen 3% across GB and Continental Europe in the year to 31 December and that in Q4 GB sales had slumped 6% compared with 5.5% in Continental Europe. Conversely, Pepsi’s volumes have risen 11% on the back of aggressive price-cutting programme [Nielsen 52 w/e 13 October 2012].

Last week, The Grocer revealed CCE had hit back at its arch rival by quadrupling the number of promotions it ran in January versus 2011.

One industry source said: “Coke is looking at taking costs out of the business while ramping up its promotions.”