Troubled Qwest lays off 4,000

Qwest Communications is to lay off 4,000 workers and has revised its earning expectations downwards for this year.

Qwest Communications is to lay off 4,000 workers and has revised its earning expectations downwards for this year.

In a statement issued on 10 September, the company cited the ongoing economic slump as the reason for its losses.

By the end of the first quarter of 2002, the US broadband and local telecommunication service provider will cut its workforce from 66,000 to 62,000. An additional 1,000 staff positions will be eliminated from departments such as public relations and legal, according to Tyler Gronbach, Qwest's vice-president for corporate communications.

The company will also attempt to cut overhead costs through the hiring of 1,000 mostly commission-based salespeople, Tyler said.

Qwest now expects revenue of about $20.5bn (£14bn) for the fiscal year 2001; a downgrade from second-quarter estimates of $21.3bn to $21.5bn. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation will decrease to about $8bn, down from $8.5bn to $8.6bn, the company said.

Additionally, Qwest expects the 2002 capital budget to drop almost $2bn, from $7.5bn to $5.5bn, mostly through cost cutting and reductions in capital purchases, Tyler said.

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