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Optus to axe up to 480 jobs

by April 4, 2016 General

Optus plans to slash up to 480 jobs as the telco sweeps the broom through its operations in a bid to cut costs amid intense industry competition.

After splashing out $189 million last November on the Australian broadcast and digital rights to show English Premier League matches, Optus announced on Monday it will cut staff across its consumer and enterprise divisions.

The cuts were in response to “an increasingly competitive trading environment”, the number two telco said.

“These changes require Optus to reshape its workforce with the skills required in an increasingly digital world and to invest in the capabilities required to bring ideas to market more quickly,” a statement from the company said.

In February Optus refuted newspaper reports that it was planning to cut around 1,000 jobs as part of a wide-ranging cost cutting exercise under chief executive Allen Lew, but said it was reviewing operations.

The telco surprised the media industry in November with its EPL rights deal.

A spokeswoman for the Singapore Telecommunications-owned carrier said it was consulting with affected employees and there would be some redeployment opportunities.

Optus plans to cut jobs in Optus Business, part of its enterprise division, as well as the Wholesale and Satellite business, part of its consumer division.

Optus – which has around 9.37 mobile customers and around 1.04 broadband customers – revealed last month that it plans to show every match of the next three EPL seasons live.

But fans will have to wait until June to find out how much it will cost them. Optus last month said it plans to show all 380 matches per season live on Optus TV with Fetch, a service available to Optus customers via a set-top box.

Optus will also create a 24/7 football channel on its Optus TV service when the next EPL season kicks off in August, featuring matches and football-focused programs and commentary produced by the EPL. Optus reported a 9.1 per cent rise in third-quarter net profit to $227 million from the same period a year earlier, helped by new mobile customer signings and further network improvements.

The company said the financial impact of the redundancies and restructuring decision would be reflected in its first quarter results.