British Telecom, which has a large offshore presence in India, announced on Thursday plans to cut 10,000 jobs by March 2009 after its pre-tax profits slumped by 11 per cent in the first six months of the current year.
The cuts will mainly affect agency and contract staff and offshore workers, the company said. This is expected to include job losses in the company's operations in India.
BT has a global workforce of 160,000.
Latest figures show that British unemployment has hit an 11-year high of 1.82 million during the three months to September and is forecast to peak at 3.3 million by 2011.
Ian Livingston, chief executive of BT, described the action BT was taking as 'decisive'. BT said the move was aimed at reducing its dependence on consultants and contractors.
About 4,000 of the job losses will be direct BT staff, the remaining 6,000 will be from related employees.
BT admitted that its performance was 'disappointing' and the results in its struggling Global Services division were 'simply not good enough', where earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell by 36 per cent to 119 million.