Chocolate to soft drinks giant Cadbury Schweppes is to cut several thousand jobs, as part of its cost saving initiative ‘Fuel for Growth’.

Chief executive Todd Stitzer said Cadbury would save £400m by 2007 by shelving between 10% and 20% of its 133 factories and 55,000 employees worldwide.

Stitzer said the move would cost £900m and “provide the funds to increase our investment in marketing and innovation to drive our top-line growth”.

As a result of the cutbacks, net sales should increase by between 3% and 5% every year, Stitzer added.

Earlier this month, Cadbury said it intended to close two British factories by March 2005, resulting in 555 job losses - the former Adams plant in Greater Manchester and the Trebor plant in Chesterfield.

At the beginning of the year Cadbury also announced a further 400 redundancies in Denmark, America and Australia.