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C&W to axe 600 jobs

Further restructuring

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Cable & Wireless is to axe 600 jobs in the UK and Europe as it continues to keep a tight control on costs. In a further shake-up, C&W announced today that it is closing its London head office and relocating to Bracknell.

It is also reorganising its UK business into four divisions - Enterprise, Business, Bulldog and Carrier Services - and creating a single unit to manage areas such as IT, purchasing, network and field operations.

Said chief exec Francesco Caio: "In total these reorganisations are expected to reduce headcount by around 600 across the UK and Continental Europe, subject to local consultation. We have now set the execution priorities for each of the new business segments and identified a clear path to significantly advance our competitive position in the UK by taking advantage of our network and the migration to broadband."

Caio also announced a shake-up of senior execs and confirmed that he would be taking "direct operational control of the UK business".

Part of that will include the development of C&W's local loop unbundling (LLU) programme which is being led by Bulldog, the broadband ISP it bought in May for £18m. Even though rival operator Energis branded LLU "uneconomic" this week, C&W is ploughing ahead and expects to have installed its kit in as many as 400 exchanges by summer next year.

It forecasts Bulldog's broadband strategy will generate £250m in revenues within the next four years. At the moment, that appears some way off. In the four months to the end of September since Bulldog was snapped up by C&W it generated revenues of £4m and a pre-tax loss of £5m.

Group turnover for the six months to September end fell from £1.73bn last year to £1.62bn, while pre-tax profit edged up to £199m from £185m. ®

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