Vodafone to axe up to 500 UK jobs, eyes rival network 3

09/03/2010

Mobile network operator Vodafone is to slash up to 500 jobs in the UK as the mobile network operator is reportedly mulling a bid for rival 3.

The European telecoms carrier plans to cut 500 staff from its headquarters in Newbury as part of a cost-cutting drive.

Vodafone, which has around 9,000 staff in the U.K., said "the roles affected are in a number of areas, across a number of locations, primarily in back office functions."

It also cautioned that there will "also be additional changes as further efficiencies and natural attrition in these functions take effect."

09/03/2010

However, Vodafone will also hire 170 people in "customer facing roles," aimed at improving its services, and will select 50 graduates to start in September from over 3,000 who have applied to its UK graduate program.

Last month Vodafone raised its outlook for 2010 after it posted third-quarter revenue ahead of forecasts due to cost cuts and an improving picture in Europe.

Meanwhile, CCS Insight analyst Shaun Collins said Vodafone could move to acquire 3 after T-Mobile UK’s planned merger with Orange was given the green light by regulators.

He said: “Firstly such a deal would be competitively appropriate, and secondly (owner) Hutchison has been looking for options for 3 UK. It would be inconceivable if the two had not talked about 3 UK being acquired. After all Vodafone and 3 merged their businesses in Australia so there is a track record and the channels for communication are there."

www.vodafone.co.uk

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