Swiss Sunrise to slash 175 jobs in reorganisation

Sunrise, the Swiss-based fixed and mobile operator that competes with market leader Swisscom, said it will reduce its headcount by up to 175 people as part of "ongoing efficiency measures" to cut costs and improve its focus on customers.

The company said the job cuts are part of an initiative started in the first quarter of this year to streamline and simplify its products and processes. Around 165 of the cuts will affect full-time employees, of which Sunrise currently employs 1,890.

The reorganisation process will also see the company merge its business and residential units, bringing all customer groups under a single leadership. Similarly, the company said operations for residential and business customers will be united into one customer service organisation.

The job cuts will be implemented by the end of the third quarter and will incur one-off costs of CHF21 million (€19 million/$21.5 million) in 2015, also impacting reported EBITDA and cash flow. Sunrise said it expects to see quarterly savings of CHF5.5 million from the fourth quarter of this year.

Implementation costs will be fully financed from cash on balance sheet, not impacting the dividend guidance of at least CHF135 million (equalling CHF3 per share) for 2015. The adjusted EBITDA guidance for 2015 remains unchanged.

The job cuts come only months after Sunrise raised CHF2 billion in what Bloomberg described as the biggest initial public offering on the country's stock exchange in eight years. At the time, Sunrise said it planned to use the proceeds to cut debt and strengthen its balance sheet.

Heinz Steffen, an analyst at Fairesearch in Germany, told Bloomberg in February that Sunrise's mobile market share of 22 per cent is well behind Swisscom's 59 per cent share. Orange Switzerland -- which was acquired by Xavier Niel in December 2014 -- is in third place with a 19 per cent share.

For more:
- see the Sunrise statement

Related articles:
Swisscom tests 450 Mbps LTE network, plans Wi-Fi calling launch
Sunrise plans €1.1B IPO on Swiss bourse
Iliad's Xavier Niel snaps up Orange Switzerland for €2.3B
Liberty Global's Swiss unit sets up MVNO to boost multi-service play
MVNOs find new opportunity in 4G