MONTREAL - Saputo Inc. says it will close three plants in Eastern and Atlantic Canada employing some 230 workers by the end of next year in a move to cut costs and boost efficiency.

The Montreal-based dairy processor and cheese maker said its plant in Sydney, N.S., will close in June, followed by another in Princeville, Que., in August. A third facility in Ottawa will close in December 2017.

Production will be diverted to other Saputo facilities.

The move announced Tuesday is expected to save $9 million annually by fiscal 2019.

Meanwhile, Saputo (TSX:SAP) plans to invest about $32 million in other locations over the next two years.

Saputo is the largest cheese manufacturer in Canada and one of the top 10 dairy processors in the world.