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1,200 mobile phone jobs are axed

The group behind newly merged mobile phone giants Orange and T-Mobile today announced plans to axe around 1,200 jobs in the UK.

Everything Everywhere said it was cutting 7.5% of its 16,000 strong workforce to end duplicated roles following the tie-up between Orange and T-Mobile in the UK earlier this year.

The group said no cuts would be made among frontline or retail store staff. Its main offices are in London, Bristol and Hatfield, Herts.

Everything said the majority of cuts would be made among back office, headquarter and management areas, but added it would retain dedicated marketing teams for both brands.

The firm has launched a 90-day consultation with staff and said the jobs were likely to go by the end of the year.

Today's jobs blow comes after a three-month review of the business to identify areas where there is overlap under plans to save at least £3.5 billion.

The firm has already cut around 30 senior management roles after a shake-up of top-level staff in July.

Tom Alexander, chief executive of Everything Everywhere, said: "We need to ensure that we are operating with maximum efficiency, effectively serving our two brands while removing any unnecessary duplication from the business and, above all, making sure that we are set up to deliver for the future.

"It is therefore regrettable that some roles will need to be removed from our combined business. We will, of course, be doing everything we possibly can to mitigate the personal impact on our people and support them through this process."

The firm - owned jointly by Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom - announced an 18.5% plunge in adjusted second-quarter operating profits yesterday in its first update since the UK's third and fourth biggest mobile networks merged.

Mobile service revenues fell by 5.3% to a worse-than-expected £1.6 billion after a reduction in the fees operators can charge.

It has more than 27 million customers in the UK and more than 720 retail stores.

But the group stressed that despite cost-cutting plans, it aims to expand its retail presence.

The group employs around 3,600 in its retail network.

It also has around 7,500 people in its customer service operations across centres in Darlington, North Tyneside, Plymouth, Doxford in Sunderland, Greenock near Glasgow, and Merthyr Tydfil in Wales.