BT plans 15,000 job cuts as losses mount

British telecommunications giant BT Group said it plans to cut 15,000 jobs and slash dividends after reporting a Q4 loss of $1.48 billion and projecting further revenue declines of between 4 percent and 5 percent in the 2009-2010 financial year. The company's Global Service division-which provides corporate and government telecommunications services-was the main culprit, seeing pre-tax losses of $2.27 billion in the quarter.

BT has placed a premium in recent years of growing the Global Services division, but has seen costs rise rapidly. The company already has slashed its payroll by 15,000 jobs, and expects the new cuts to include about 5,000 jobs from Global Services.

BT CEO Ian Livingston rejected suggestions the unit might be spun off, insisting instead that the focus would be to "make Global Services a better business." BT predicted a full-year loss of $1.25 billion, compared to a profit of $2.6 billion a year ago.

For more:
- see this Associated Press story and this Wall Street Journal article

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Verwaayen left BT at the end of May 2008