6,000 job cuts to save NTL $465 mil

Burch says effort will involve outsourcing jobs

LONDON — U.K. cabler NTL has confirmed that it will ax 6,000 of its 17,000 staffers by the end of next year (Daily Variety, May 9) in order to cut costs by at least £250 million ($465 million).

NTL chief exec Steve Burch said the effort would involve outsourcing “a significant number of jobs” as well as job cuts.

In a statement, NTL said the decision was unavoidable “but would lead to a better experience for our customers in the long term.”

Peter Skyte, national officer of the Amicus union, said it was “a devastating blow for thousands of employees.”

“There is no corporate social responsibility in this announcement, and it is difficult to fathom how cutting so many U.K. jobs will be good for NTL’s customers,” he added.

The news came as NTL, which is likely to relaunch as Virgin TV early next year, announced first quarter results that saw earnings increase to $1.14 billion, up $236.2 million from the fourth quarter, mainly due to the Telewest merger. It added 25,800 subscribers during the quarter.

However, NTL lost $223 million compared with a profit of $847.8 million a year ago.

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