Oyster clams up on job cuts

What a pearler

London new media agency Oyster Partnership has declined refused to comment on allegations that it is to shed around 20 per cent of its workforce.

According to insiders, staff were told of the job cuts - thought to number around 30 staff - earlier today.

However, the company, which boasts such high-profile clients as the BBC, BT and Orange, declined to answer our questions concerning the matter.

However, in a cryptic statement issued this afternoon the company said: "Oyster has undergone a review of 'the way we work', which was initiated following the appointment of Paul Kingsley as CEO, in November 2001. As a result of this review it has been decided to place a greater emphasis on role and competency.

"We will continue to invest and grow our core skill sets, such as business and experience architecture consultancy, and consolidate key support functions, whilst delivering value cost effectively."

Although Oyster has remained tight-lipped on this issue, it is keen to point out that is rated seventeenth in the Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 listing, which ranks the UK's hundred fastest-growing unquoted companies by sales growth.

According to its entry in the list: "Its sales have increased 136 per cent a year from £798,000 in 1997 to £10.5m in 2000, when it had 137 staff. However, with the downturn in the digital media sector, Oyster has had to cut its staff from a peak of 220 to 140 this year." ®

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