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Colt Telecom could be about to shed 1,000 jobs amid the continuing difficult business environment facing the industry.

According to insiders the jobs are due to go over the next couple of months with employees bracing themselves to find out if they are among those to face the chop.

The Register understands that big losses could be seen in Colt's European operations, with some satellite offices reduced to little more than skeleton staffing levels.

In the six months to the end of June, Colt reported that sales had increased to £505.05m against £433.5m during the same period the year before.

It made a pretax loss before exceptionals of £129.5m against £108.2m during H1 2001.

In the first six months of 2002 the company reduced its workforce by 214 employees and shed 156 temporary and contract workers.

In a statement accompanying its H1 results in July Colt said it would "continue to improve [its] operating efficiencies".

Colt employs around 5,000 staff.

No one from Colt returned phone calls or was available for comment at the time of writing. ®

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