BT Group to slash 13000 positions, leave London

BT is set to axe around 13000 jobs, most of which will be back office and middle management roles, the company has

BT to cut 13000 jobs and quit London HQ to cut £1.5bn in costs

Patterson said: "BT delivered a solid set of financial results in the fourth quarter, with growth in our consumer divisions offset by declines in our enterprise businesses, due to both challenging market conditions and our decision to exit lower margin business".

The job cuts, the highest number by the former monopoly since 2008, will save £1.5 billion (US$2.03 billion) in costs in three years, the company said.

Chief Executive Gavin Patterson sought to placate shareholders by maintaining BT's dividend and agreeing a new pension funding plan but a forecast that it would take up to three years to return to profit growth sent the shares down 9%.

The British company said that about two-thirds of the job cuts will fall on its British workforce of about 80,000, with the remainder coming from the 18,000 staff it employs internationally.

BT is focusing on investing ultrafast broadband and to lead in 5G.

Additionally, the telecoms giant will be seeking to leave its current premises near St Paul's in London, with a view to taking on a smaller - and presumably cheaper - office.

"A well-resourced, highly skilled and professional work force will put BT in a better position to keep delivering world-class results which will help their financial results in the long run".

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These job cuts and other measures are aimed at helping the telecom reduce its costs by £1.5bn though it does plan to hire an additional 6,000 employees to improve its customer service and network deployment.

"If we compare how we manage the business with our peers, we're frankly too complex and overweight".

BT also agreed a new 13-year funding plan for its pension, which had a deficit of 11.3 billion pounds at the end of June.

The strategy comes after the group reported a 3 percent drop in fourth-quarter revenue to £5.967 billion, just missing analysts' expectations, while core earnings came in at £2.083 billion, up 1 percent. It will pay 2.1 billion pounds into the scheme by 2020 and a further 2 billion pounds will be funded by the issuance of bonds.

BT had a total of 106,400 employees according to its most recent 2017 annual report.

BT's statement said it must respond to "increasing competitive intensity from established companies and new entrants".

BT's job cuts come in the wake of continued, if slightly reduced, outlay by the company on Premier League football broadcast rights (£295m per season from 2019 down from £320m) and a £530m bill involved in clearing up an accounting scandal in Italy.

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