Mobile phone giant Vodafone has been forced to speed up its £1bn cost-cutting plan to counter poor trading results in its European business, raising fears that more job losses are on the cards.
The firm plans to save about £650m by March 2010– up from the £500m it had earlier suggested, according to newspapers.In February, the group announced 500 job losses, with about 170 expected to go in back-office roles – including HR – in its head office in Newbury.
Last year,Vodafone, which employs 10,000 people in the UK, announced it expected to reduce its worldwide operating costs by £1bn a year by 2011, in response to the rising price of raw materials, increased competition and a fall in consumer spending.
It was forced to writeoff £5.9bn in the 12 months to the end of March – mostly related to its Spanish business. Pre-tax profits fell to £4.2bn from £9bn the previous year.
The company did not give an exact sales forecast for the year to March 2010.