The world's largest soft drinks producer Coca-Cola Company said yesterday that it would be cutting 1,000 jobs, as part of its on-going consolidation plans in North America.

Around half of the jobs to go are expected in Coca-Cola's home city of Atlanta. The cutbacks amount to about 8% of Coca-Cola's North American workforce.

In an internal memo released to the press chairman and CEO Douglas Daft said: "This will make our North American business simpler in process, sharper in strategic focus and more competitive in the market."

The cuts are the result of an increasingly competitive and sluggish US market. Coca-Cola has been undergoing structural changes in the last month, including plans to integrate several operations, notably Coca-Cola North America, Coke Fountain and Minute Maid.

This will include consolidating those divisions' separate sales, marketing, finance, legal, information-technology, human-resources, and administrative staffs.

The new entity will also include Coke's Odwalla drink unit, acquired in 2001, and its Danone Waters of North America division, Coca-Cola said in a press release.