BT cuts 5,000 jobs as earnings fall

British telecom operator BT Group will slash 5,000 jobs this year, as it announced that net profit slid by nearly a third during its second quarter, an AFP report said.

The AFP report said BT Group CEO Ben Verwaayen has confirmed that the number of jobs to be cut is under a previously announced restructuring program that is aimed at helping the company become more efficient.

'Every single year we have lost about 5,000 people but we are now talking about management,' Verwaayen, quoted by the AFP report, said.

Verwaayen spoke after BT Group said that its net profit slid by 28.6% to 339 million pounds ($712 million) in the three months to September 30, compared with the same quarter in 2006.

Group revenue climbed 3.1% to 5.095 billion pounds ($10.525 billion).

BT's second-quarter results included a 167-million-pound ($344-million) charge owing to its restructuring program, which was set to cost a total of 450 million pounds ($929 million).

'Over the past four to five years we have done 5,000 (job cuts) and we don't anticipate it will be any different next year. It's about transforming BT,' Verwaayen said.

BT employs about 107,000 staff worldwide.