U.K. cable company to lose 15% of workforce

U.K. cable giant Virgin Media is pinkslipping 2,200 in a radical restructuring that it estimates will save about £120 million ($183.6 million) a year.

It’s anticipated that 15% of the Virgin workforce will leave the company by 2012 as a result of the restructuring.

The company, which is listed on the Nasdaq, employs 14,600 at various locations in Blighty and has been reviewing its operations since Virgin Media was launched in early 2007 after the merger of NTL and Telewest and the acquisition of Virgin Mobile.

The latest losses come after 4,000 jobs were cut in the wake of the NTL Telewest merger.

In a statement, Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett said: “These changes are critical to ensuring Virgin Media is positioned to compete effectively and deliver on our customers’ changing expectations. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be developing more detailed proposals for their implementation.”

Most of the job cuts are likely to take effect in the fourth quarter of 2009, with the restructuring complete by the end of 2010.

Virgin said it hoped to avoid redundancies and, where possible, will offer employees alternative roles.

The “critical” restructuring would allow the money-losing outfit, which is increasingly pushing high-speed broadband as its unique selling point in the battle with rival U.K. paybox BSkyB, to compete more effectively.

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