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    Aurora Foods Cuts Corporate Staff by 25 Percent

    ST. LOUIS - As part of its ongoing strategy to streamline operations and improve profitability, food marketer Aurora Foods Inc. has reduced its corporate staff by 25 percent.

    ST. LOUIS - As part of its ongoing strategy to streamline operations and improve profitability, food marketer Aurora Foods Inc. has reduced its corporate staff by 25 percent. This development follows the executive promotions of Eric Brenk and Michael J. Hojnacki as co-presidents and co-chief operating officers, and the consolidation of Aurora's sales organization into three divisions.

    "Our objective is to be a leaner, stronger and more profitable company," said Dale F. Morrison, Aurora's chairman and CEO. "We continue to make progress on several fronts to transform Aurora into a more competitive, productive and efficient organization."

    The staff reductions announced on Thursday are expected to result in annual savings of more than $10 million, the company said. Aurora will take a pre-tax charge over future quarters of approximately $8 million for costs associated with these changes.

    Aurora, which employs about 2,000, lost $483.1 million in 2002, a wider loss from $17.6 million in fiscal year 2001. Sales were $771.9 million, down 8.3 percent from the prior year.

    The St. Louis company is a producer and marketer of leading food brands, including Duncan Hines baking mixes; Log Cabin, Mrs. Butterworth's and Country Kitchen syrups; Lender's bagels; Van de Kamp's and Mrs. Paul's frozen seafood; Aunt Jemima frozen breakfast products; Celeste frozen pizza and Chef's Choice skillet meals.

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