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Virgin Media to cut 2,200 jobs

Antony Savvas

Virgin Media will start slashing 2,200 jobs from its workforce from next year to cut costs and help reduce the company's debt.

The jobs to go represent about 15% of the company's headcount. The first jobs will be axed from the fourth quarter of next year.

The total number will be made redundant by 2012. The unusually long warning for the jobs cull ties in with the company having recently renegotiated it debt repayments.

Virgin Media has about £4.3bn worth of loans, and payments have been delayed to allow the firm to refinance the debts by 2012.

When a Virgin vehicle took over the then recently merged ntl:Telewest business, before rebranding it as Virgin Media, the former cable companies were already heavily in debt.

The fall out from the NTL and Telewest merger in 2005 included 4,000 job losses.

Virgin Media is giving Sky a run for its money in the digital TV market and is a major consumer broadband provider, but only in cable TV areas.

It faces further competition in the digital TV arena from BT Vision, which is not restricted by the underlying limited cable infrastructure and which has UK-wide reach.

Virgin said the job cuts were "critical" to ensure the company is positioned to compete effectively. The redundancies form a big chunk of £120m in planned savings over the next four years.

See our: Redundancy special report


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