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Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 13:40 GMT
NTL to slash employee numbers
Telephone and cable TV operator NTL is planning to cut about 2,000 jobs over the next three years.

The exercise, aimed at improving efficiency, will reduce NTL's workforce by nearly 15%.

NTL said the move would bring its employee headcount into line with industry benchmarks for a company of its size.

"We realised that we were overmanned by comparison with our peers," a spokeswoman said.

But the company, Britain's biggest cable TV firm, stressed that it was not planning a programme of mass redundancies.

It hopes to scale back its 14,000 strong workforce through a combination of phased job cuts and natural wastage.


NTL has its main stock market listing in the US and is active in mainland Europe but the majority of its employees are UK-based.

The company announced the job cuts at a conference on Thursday.

According to a report in the Financial Times, they form part of a plan by NTL chief executive Simon Duffy to integrate the firm's systems more closely.

The jobs news comes as NTL enters the final stages of a life-saving financial overhaul aimed at relieving it of part of its crippling debt burden.

The firm, which borrowed billions of dollars to finance an aggressive acquisition spree in the 1990s, was forced to seek emergency protection from its creditors last year.

It emerged from bankruptcy protection in January after the firm's bondholders agreed to swap 6.8bn worth of debt for shares, leaving its original investors with nothing.

The firm is planning to use the proceeds of a $1.37bn (800m) issue of new shares to pay off part of its remaining debt pile.

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