Vodafone cuts ‘hundreds’ of jobs in Britain

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The Independent Online

Vodafone is preparing to axe “hundreds” from its UK operations, as part of its £1bn cost-cutting drive, writes Nick Clark.

The world’s largest mobile phone group is to outline the cuts to its 10,000-strong UK workforce as early as today, according to a source close to the company.

The group is based in Newbury, Berkshire, and has offices or call centres in eight sites around the country, including London, Warrington and Stoke-on-Trent.

Vodafone, which has almost 290 million customers around the world, declined to comment yesterday.

The chief executive, Vittorio Colao, unveiled the cost-cutting scheme of £1bn a year by 2011 at his inaugural interim results in November.

In a marked shift of strategy from his predecessor, Arun Sarin, he announced that the group would concentrate on reducing its £22bn annual costs. At the time, Mr Colao admitted that UK performance had been poor during the first six months, with operating profits almost halving to £134m. Vodafone is also cutting sponsorship costs, ending a 12-year association with the England cricket team next January.

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