BT boss warns of further job loss 'pain' as part of £3bn cost-cutting drive

BT boss warns of further job loss ‘pain’ as part of a £3bn cost-cutting drive

  • BT’s boss has warned that staff face more job cuts and everyone would need to ‘share the pain’ of cost reductions
  • Philip Jansen said the FTSE 100 telecoms giant would leave ‘no stone unturned’ to make sure it was ‘the most efficient organisation it can be’ 
  • The group yesterday unveiled plans to save £3bn by the end of 2025, up from its previous target of £2.5bn 

BT’s boss has warned that staff face more job cuts and everyone would need to ‘share the pain’ of cost reductions. 

Philip Jansen said the FTSE 100 telecoms giant would leave ‘no stone unturned’ to make sure it was ‘the most efficient organisation it can be’. 

He said: ‘As we continue to automate and use technology to make the company more efficient, we can reduce costs. Inevitably, of course, that means that some jobs will not exist in the future.

Philip Jansen said the FTSE 100 telecoms giant would leave 'no stone unturned' to make sure it was 'the most efficient organisation it can be'

Philip Jansen said the FTSE 100 telecoms giant would leave ‘no stone unturned’ to make sure it was ‘the most efficient organisation it can be’

 ‘Everyone’s going to have to share the pain on the cost savings. ‘Literally, all 100,000 people in BT need to look at the costs they can influence.’ 

But Jansen, 55, stressed there would be no ‘knee-jerk’ restructurings which he said would cause ‘a huge amount of pain for our staff’, adding: ‘We’re looking at doing this in a sensible, controlled way.’ 

The group yesterday unveiled plans to save £3bn by the end of 2025, up from its previous target of £2.5bn, as it grappled with higher inflation and surging energy prices. Jansen also said BT needed to take additional cost-saving measures to boost its cash flow at a time when it is ‘building like fury’ to expand its fibre broadband network across Britain. 

Shares fell 8.9 per cent, or 11.35p, to 116.4p, their lowest level in two years. The chief executive’s comments regarding more job cuts brought criticism from the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which has recently led a number of strikes by BT workers including 999 call handlers amid a dispute over pay. 

A spokesman said: ‘BT’s talk about further cost cutting concerns our members at a time when their morale is already at rock bottom.’

In its half-year results, the company reported the customer base for its Openreach broadband network shrank by 89,000 in its second quarter following an increase of 29,000 last year. It added 40,000 households did not have their broadband connections completed on time due to industrial action. 

BT also upped its spending outlook for the current year to £5bn from £4.8bn as it rushed to build out its fibre network while tackling surging prices. The group reported an 18 per cent drop in pre-tax profits to £831m for the six months to the end of September despite revenues rising 1 per cent to £10.4bn as sales growth from its consumer arm EE and broadband offset lower spending by corporate customers. 

Telecoms analyst Paolo Pescatore said BT could also face a backlash when it raises its prices next year. 

‘While [price hikes] might seem justified to help fund network rollout it will not go down well with paying households who are all looking to tighten their belts,’ he said, adding that the company needed to focus on the ‘ongoing challenges’ in its enterprise business. 

Advertisement