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BT set to cut another 15,000 jobs

TELECOMMUNICATIONS company BT Group PLC said yesterday that it expects to cut another 15,000 jobs in the next year after its Global Services division dragged the company to a fourth quarter loss of 977 million pounds (US$1.48 billion).

The net loss for the three months ended March 31 compared to a profit of 426 million pounds a year earlier.

The Global Services unit, a provider of communication services for companies and government agencies, posted a pretax loss of 1.5 billion pounds, raising its total losses for the year to 2 billion pounds.

That swung the BT Group to a full-year loss of 83 million pounds, compared to the previous-year profit of 1.7 billion pounds.

The company's fourth quarter revenue rose less than 1 percent to 5.47 billion pounds; full-year revenue rose 3.4 percent to 21.4 billion pounds.

BT said it had cut 15,000 employees in the past year, and expected "further reductions of a similar level next year."

A charge of 1.3 billion pounds, mainly related to two major contracts, was the key factor in Global Services' loss in the fourth quarter.

"Three out of four of BT's lines of business have performed well in spite of fierce competition and the global economic downturn," said Chief Executive Ian Livingstone.

"However this achievement has been overshadowed by the unacceptable performance of BT Global Services and the resulting charges we have taken," he said.


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