Dutch telecoms KPN to cut around 2,000 jobs

Telecom service provider KPN is planning to eliminate around 1,500 to 2,000 jobs in the Netherlands.

The European telecom operator axed 4,650 positions in the country since 2011. KPN had just over 26,000 staff in total at the end of 2012.

The decision to cut jobs follows its dismal performance in the fourth quarter of 2013. The Dutch telecoms group’s fourth-quarter mobile revenues fell 13 percent year-on-year. That was steeper than a 9.6 percent decline the previous quarter.

KPN said its business division also saw a fall in revenues accelerate from the third quarter, as companies made fewer phone calls and a sluggish economy resulted in fewer new contracts.

KPN

The Dutch mobile market has been tough for KPN, as traditional revenue streams from texts and calls dried up, with users switching to internet applications instead, Reuters reported.

However, KPN Chief Executive Officer Eelco Blok told reporters he believed that margins in the mobile business would pick up over the course of 2014.

The group’s Belgian operations also saw a fall in revenues in the quarter, albeit less pronounced than in the Netherlands.

Overall, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 30 percent in the fourth quarter to 614 million euros ($830 million).

KPN has fared better in its residential business, where it offers broadband internet, TV and fixed telephone services and competes with cable operators such as Ziggo and UPC, as it increasingly managed to sell more than one service to its clients with a bundled offer.

Revenues in this business segment increased by 2.5 percent, with core profit rising by 16 percent, KPN said.

KPN said in October it would spend 4.7 billion euros on its networks between 2013 and 2015, though it did not repeat this target on Tuesday.

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