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Cablecom cuts jobs

There are reports that Swisscom still interested in picking up Cablecom Keystone

Cablecom, the leading Swiss cable television operator, fully owned by Britain's NTL Inc, is to shed 12.5 per cent of its staff but denied it was in any financial difficulty.

The group is in the middle of a reorganisation to offer new services such as digital high-speed Internet connections and telecommunications services in direct competition with the dominant operator Swisscom.

In a statement released on Wednesday it said it was cutting between 250 and 300 jobs out of 1,900 as it transforms itself into a more “client-orientated company”.

Spokesman Jacques Filippini said the company’s financial situation was healthy. “We have the funds needed to implement our five year business plan,” he said, adding the company has completed two-thirds of an investment project to upgrade its infrastructure.

He had no comment on media reports that NTL may be about to sell Cablecom.

Swisscom, which was one of three owners of Cablecom before it was forced to sell the company by Swiss regulators in 1999, has expressed an interest in the cable operator. But telecommunications and competition authorities have thus far kept it from its goal.

Swisscom, Germany’s Siemens and Veba sold Cablecom to NTL in December 1999 in a deal that valued the cable operator at SFr5.8 billion ($3.57 billion).

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR