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IT services giant EDS is to take an axe to its workforce with up to 20,000 workers likely to lose their jobs over the next two years. EDS chief executive Michael Jordan said yesterday that between 15,000 to 20,000 people "will go out" as part of EDS' drive to reduce its costs by 20 per cent or $3bn. That means around one in seven of EDS' global workforce of 138,000 face the chop in addition to 5,000 redundancies the firm has made over the past year.

Jordan made his comments in response to a question at a Smith Barney technology conference in New York yesterday during which he sought to downplay EDS' financial problems. In July Moody's cut EDS's debt rating to junk bond status, making it more expensive for the firm to borrow. Jordan said that "most of our debt doesn't come through until 2009" and that customers were not particularly concerned about the issue, Reuters reports.

No update on EDS' financial outlook was made yesterday. In July, the company said it would post FY2004 revenues of between $20bn and $21bn. It estimated full year earnings of between 20 cents to 30 cents per share or £100m to $150m. ®

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