Vodafone to Reduce Up to 1,300 Jobs in Spain After Ono Purchase

Vodafone Group Plc plans to reduce as much as 22 percent of its workforce in Spain following the acquisition of Grupo Corporativo Ono SA last year.

The company will hold talks with unions during September to discuss reducing as many as 1,300 workers, it said Tuesday in a statement. The company cited the Ono takeover, falling sales and profit in Spain and increased investments as reasons for the need for reductions. It has about 6,000 workers in the country.

Vodafone agreed to buy Ono for 7.2 billion euros ($8 billion) last year to add broadband and cable services to its Spanish wireless business. The country has been one of Vodafone’s worst-performing markets in recent years as heavy competition and a struggling economy hurt its sales.

Even as Spain’s unemployment rate shrank to 22.4 percent in the second quarter, it is the second highest in Europe, according to Eurostat. The jobless rates among people aged 35 or less is close to 50 percent.

The Ono deal was part of Vodafone’s move toward offering bundles of mobile, home-phone, Internet and TV services. The carrier has also made cable acquisitions in Germany and the U.K. and started a network investment program.

Service revenue in Spain, the sales Vodafone gets from selling plans and access to its network in the country, declined 5.5 percent last quarter from a year earlier. Sales from mobile plans fell 9.5 percent in the quarter while so-called fixed services, such as broadband, grew 4.2 percent.