France Tel confirms 20,000 early retirement exits

By : |November 29, 2002 0

PARIS: France Telecom said that 20,000 staff were expected to leave their jobs over the next three years due to early retirement but stressed that newspaper reports of heftier cuts were totally inaccurate. The debt-laden operator, struggling to shore up its groaning balance sheet, issued a statement denying a press report of up to 45,000 job cuts, but confirmed a plan it had already announced to shed staff through voluntary early retirement.

France Telecom declined comment on an audit promised by new chief Thierry Breton, but confirmed the findings would be presented on December 4, as expected. France Telecom shares rose around seven percent on Thursday, extending a 13-percent jump the previous day as reports the government may bail out the firm to the tune of nine billion euros, delaying an unpopular cash call, cheered investors.

France Telecom and the government declined to comment on the report in Le Figaro newspaper.

© Reuters

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