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Eurobites: Telia Norway Sheds Tenth of Workforce

Paul Rainford
5/23/2019
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Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: TalkTalk walks the walk; ex-BT boss Patterson forgoes half his bonus; Tele2 agrees Kazakhstan exit terms.

  • Telia Norway is to axe a tenth of its workforce as part of a restructuring triggered by Telia's $2.59 billion takeover of GET/TDC last year. The cuts equate to around 240 jobs. (See Eurobites: Telia Bags TDC Norway for $2.59B.)

  • UK broadband provider TalkTalk saw headline EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) growth of 16.7%, to £237 million (US$299.6 million) in its full-year results, on headline revenue that was up 2.2% to £1.54 billion ($1.94 billion). TalkTalk is hoping to save up to £30 million ($38 million) through its relocation of staff to the northern English city of Salford, and is trying to focus more on fixed connectivity rather than spreading itself too thinly. On the fiber front, TalkTalk says it is accelerating pure fiber rollout under its own FibreNation brand in the Yorkshire towns of Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon but is also prepared to be a wholesale customer of Openreach and other access providers for those areas unreached by FibreNation.

  • Former BT CEO Gavin Patterson, who left the operator in February to be replaced by former Worldpay boss Philip Jansen, has waived half of his £1 million ($1.26 million) annual bonus, Sky News reports. It is thought the climate surrounding "fat cat" pay packages in the UK was the main factor in Patterson's decision to forgo the extra £500,000 ($632,280). He still pocketed around £1.7 million ($2.1 million) for his time at BT during the company's last financial year, say Sky's sources. According to his LinkedIn profile, Patterson is now earning a crust as a member of the British Museum's board of trustees and a non-executive director of British Airways. (He's also still listed on LinkedIn as the boss of BT, but that's another story…) (See BT Waves Goodbye to Gorgeous Gavin and Fat Cats Get Fatter as Jobs Go to the Dogs.)

  • And elsewhere on the BT front… A labor union has accused the UK incumbent operator of ageism as it tries to shed staff as part of a plan to reduce costs by £1.5 billion ($1.9 billion), the Guardian reports. Speaking at the Prospect union's annual BT conference, Prospect National Secretary Noel McClean said: "It is clear that its efforts to cut costs are driven by an ideological 'out with the old, in with the new' attack on staff. They have managed to create a hostile environment where loyal, long-serving employees are railroaded out … Their cheaper replacements, many of whom are starting out in their careers, are expected to do more for less, exploiting their need for job security in this precarious working world." (See BT's Workforce: It's Not Shrinking as Fast as You Might Think, BT Looks More Bloated Than Ever and Rumors of Major BT Job Cuts Should Not Be a Shock.)

  • Sweden's Tele2 has reached an agreement with Kazakhtelecom on the terms of its exit from Kazakhstan. Tele2 will receive US$169 million, as well as full repayment of its shareholder loan amounting to around 2.1 billion Swedish kronor ($217 million).

  • Switzerland's Salt saw first-quarter EBITDA fall 7.2% year-on-year, to 104.7 million Swiss francs ($103.7 million), on revenue that was down 1.2% to CHF230.2 million ($228.2 million). The figures were adversely affected by Salt's discontinued ventures with Coop Mobile and UPC, and the operator claims that there is "good momentum" in its underlying business.

  • Nokia has landed a three-year RAN deal with Malaysia's U Mobile, expanding the operator's network in greenfield locations across the country. The pair also plan to collaborate on a 5G live network trial later this year.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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