European telecommunications giant Vodafone is reportedly considering laying off hundreds of employees as the industry struggles to cope with tough economic times.
The Financial Times reports that Vodafone’s resolve comes as a last resort as the telco tries to rein in costs and revive its performance. The company employs around 104,000 people globally, with about 9400 operating from its UK headquarters. It’s not yet clear how many employees will be affected by the massive layoffs, but this is said to be the company’s “biggest round of job cuts in five years.”
Vodafone holds a 5% indirect stake in Kenya’s largest telco Safaricom. Previously, Vodafone held 40% indirect interest in the telco but transferred 35% to its subsidiary Vodacom in a move that was expected to improve the company’s operation across the continent.
Regarding the impending layoffs, Vodafone said, “We are reviewing our operating model, focusing on streamlining and simplifying the group. We will say more about the changes when we announce our third-quarter results on February 1.”
The layoffs come at a time when the European telecom sector is battling with a tough time, especially with energy prices and interest rates soaring. The industry is also under pressure to find seek solutions for its high energy consumption.
Vodafone said last November that it will initiate massive cost-cutting measures by 2026. It also reported that the group profits had slipped in the first half of the year, driven in part by a weak performance in Germany, its largest market.