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Job axe swings over 96 heads at Insight UK

Deep cuts after dismal UK Q2

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The job axe hangs over 96 UK workers in US-owned mail order giant Insight following second quarter losses in Britain of £2.5 million.

Staff throughout various departments (customer support, sales support, IT and human resources) in Insight's main London office have been given 28 days notice to find alternative work in the company, or else lose their jobs. The redundancies could see Insight's staff reduced from 500 to 400 in London, bringing its UK headcount down from 800 to 700 in the UK.

Insight's UK revenue went from $113 million in Q1 to $89 million in Q2 2002 as profits turned to losses over the period.

Peter Richardson, Insight's human resources director, told us revenues in the UK for the quarter had not met expectations of America, where sales grew.

So the firm is restructuring to increase the ratio of sales to support staff in its UK operations. The jobs of only four account executives are threatened in the current round of layoffs, Richardson told us.

The expected job losses are the fallout of poor UK figures, announced in June, which coincided with the departure of Insight UK president David Palk and chief operating officer Steve Menzies.

Palk, the head of Action Computer Supplies, prior to its acquisition by Insight in November last year, was replaced as interim managing director by Paul Kent, the former UK head of Insight prior to the takeover of Action.

Kent, an American, is set to be replaced by a Brit within the next two to three weeks, Insight's Richardson told us. ®

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