BT to axe 13000 jobs and quit London HQ in cost-cutting drive

General View Of British Telecom Head Quarters

The telecommunications giant has not elaborated on where those jobs will go, although around a third are likely to be from outside the UK.

BT says it is to cut around 13,000 jobs and move some of its offices in a bid to trim £1.5 billion off its costs base.

BT Group PLC said Thursday it will cut 13,000 back office and middle management jobs as part of a broader restructuring plan to save GBP1.5 billion over the three years and invest GBP3.7 billion in improving mobile infrastructure.

Prospect, the union representing 140,000 public and private sector workers such as engineers and managers said the larger-than-expected cuts will be a "devastating blow" to its members and sounded "unrealistic".

BT said the job losses would come mainly from back office and middle management roles, with around two-thirds of the job cuts set to fall on the company's 80,000-strong United Kingdom workforce, with the remainder coming from the 18,000 staff it employs internationally.

"Many of the roles that BT is proposing to cut are highly skilled professionals and the loss of that expertise could impact BT's research and innovation capability", warned Prospect national secretary Philippa Childs.

As for BT Centre, group chief financial officer Simon Lowth said: "We'll be looking at all options for the best future for that particular site, so (we're) very early in the process".

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BT said its outlook for the current financial year, to end-March, would see a 2 percent drop in underlying revenue, while adjusted core earnings would be in the range 7.3 billion-7.4 billion pounds, down from 7.5 billion pounds in the last year.

The firm will hire about 6,000 employees to "support network deployment and customer service".

The changes were "critical", BT said, amid a myriad of industry changes - from new entrants to increased consumption and more stringent regulation. "Our strategy will drive sustainable growth in value by focusing on delivering differentiated customer experiences, investing in integrated network leadership, and transforming our operating model".

BT now employs 80,000 in the United Kingdom and 18,000 overseas.

"If we compare how we manage the business with our peers, we're frankly too complex and overweight".

He added that it was the "right thing for the business" and would help take BT "into its next chapter".

BT has also confirmed it will make three payments of £2.1bn over the next three years as it looks to reduce the £11.3bn pension deficit.

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