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Wednesday 13th of January 2010
November 10, 2009    

Ericsson to cut 17% of UK workforce

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by Kay Murchie

As part of its ongoing global cost-cutting programme, Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson is to eliminate 700 jobs from its research and development operation in Coventry.

The cuts will be made by the middle of next year and the company said after that time, the facility would no longer be viable.

Ericsson has been in Coventry for four years since it acquired the bulk of Marconi, the failed British telecom equipment maker.

In a statement, the company said that the announcement “is part of Ericsson’s ongoing global cost reduction activities and is subject to consultations with trade unions and employee forums.”

The company acknowledged that this would be “a difficult time for the Coventry based workforce.”

Last month, the company posted a worse-than-expected 71.5% fall in profits in the July to September period.

The Stockholm-based group said net profit was 810 million kronor (£71.2 million), compared with a 2.84 billion kronor in the same period a year earlier.

At the time, the firm blamed the global financial crisis for its poor performance and said the mobile network market was being hurt by the crisis and demand had weakened.

The cuts are the latest in a series of job losses and cost-cutting measures at telecoms businesses.

Today, Vodafone said it was seeking to increase its £1 billion cost-cutting programme by a further £1 billion by 2012 as a result of a sharp decline in revenues from its core UK market.

A spokesperson for Vodafone said: “There will be some implications for jobs but that will not be the focus. The emphasis is around technology.”

Earlier this year, telecoms giant BT confirmed it would reduce its workforce by 10% - a loss of 15,000 jobs.

In related news today, banking giant Lloyds Banking Group said it would shed 5,000 jobs, bringing its total to 12,500 this year.

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