Dutch telecom KPN to cut 1,500 jobs, 5 per cent of staff, after weak fourth quarter earnings

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AMSTERDAM – Royal KPN NV, the Dutch telecom company partly owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, says it will cut at least 1,500 jobs — 5 per cent of staff — by 2016 as its fourth quarter sales fell and losses worsened.

KPN agreed to sell its German mobile arm E-Plus to Telefonica Deutschland last year as it fought off a takeover attempt by Slim, who still holds about 30 per cent of KPN shares. European regulators are vetting the E-Plus sale, which would create a German telecom big enough to rival Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone.

Tuesday’s earnings release showed sales fell 13 per cent to 2.08 billion euros ($2.8 billion) from a year earlier. Net loss widened to 224 million euros from 144 million euros, which the company blamed on various charges.

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