Vodafone puts hundreds of Brits on the 'at risk of layoffs' list

Company mouthpieces refuse to deny allegations that up to 1,000 face the axe

Vodafone has embarked on a major cost purge that could see hundreds of workers laid off, insiders have told The Register.

El Reg was contacted by staff at the telco who told us around one-fifth of those put at risk of redundancy are techies, but that many more in “customer-facing” roles will go too. Vodafone employed 12,391 people in Blighty in March 2015, the company's accounts show.

A Vodafone spokesman confirmed it is making redundancies but refused to confirm or deny the extent of the cuts:

We will be simplifying the structures of some of our corporate functions. We will be working with all those affected to support them through this period.

The company man added it frequently reviewed costs to "ensure we can compete more effectively and that our investment is focused on products and services, including our network."

Vodafone’s PR rep was rather more specific about the “hundreds” of roles it says it is creating within the UK-based customer services team this year – but refused to deny a figure of 1,000 layoffs put to us by sources.

The Newbury Weekly News also reported that 250 people would lose their jobs at the telco's Berkshire HQ.

A period of belt-tightening follows a dive in UK revenues for fiscal '15 ended 31 March to £6.97bn, down 9.7 per cent on the prior financial year, according to a filing at Companies House.

Selling and distribution costs, coupled with a massive spike in admin expenses, wiped out gross profits, and a one-off contribution to the pension scheme also contributed to an operating loss of £521.2m for the year, compared to an operating income of £5.9m in 2014.

A £20.7m loss on the disposal of tangible assets, and net interest payable to Vodafone Group plc companies of £290.9m gave way to a net loss of £704.1m, compared to £451.9m in fiscal year 2014. Vodafone also received a tax credit from HMRC of £128.7m.

You’ve got to love ‘em. HMRC, that is.

In the recent conference call to update the market on trade in the Christmas quarter, CEO Vittorio Colao spoke of the continued “pricing pressures” across its market in terms of “average revenues per user”.

“BT is now becoming aggressive on pricing, given the finalisation of the deal with EE,” he said.

In the UK, service revenue fell 0.7 per cent in the quarter ended 31 December and mobile revenue was down one per cent.

The CEO this month told staff that this is the “most competitive market place in the history of our industry,” our source claimed, and that getting “as efficient as possible” was necessary. ®

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