October 3, 2018 / 11:45 AM / a month ago

Singapore's StarHub to cut jobs amid telco sector shakeout

SINGAPORE, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Singaporean telecom operator StarHub Ltd said on Wednesday it would cut about 12 percent of its workforce as part of a strategic revamp that will include focusing and investing in new areas such as cybersecurity.

The estimated 300 job cuts will mainly affect non-customer facing functions, the company said, adding that on-going natural attrition and tighter management of contractor roles will result in additional roles being made redundant.

The company, which also provides pay TV services, had 2,500 employees as of end-2017.

Competition in Singapore’s mature telecom sector is heating up, with Australia’s TPG Telecom set to become the city state’s fourth telecom company. At the same time, streaming applications such as Netflix have been challenging traditional pay TV providers.

“Technological innovation and competition are redefining how we deliver services to our customers and we at StarHub need to transform our operating model, otherwise we will face greater risks in the future,” StarHub CEO Peter Kaliaropoulos said in a statement.

StarHub expects savings of S$210 million ($152.7 million) over a three-year period from 2019 from the revamp, which includes other measures such as reducing leasing costs and sales and distribution expenses.

It estimated a one-off restructuring cost of about S$25 million ($18.2 million).

The news comes just days after Singapore conglomerate Keppel Corp and Singapore Press Holdings offered to buy the remaining shares they don’t own in Singapore’s smallest telco M1 Ltd, aiming to stem a decline in its shares through a “combination of transformational efforts”.

Malaysia’s Axiata Group Bhd is the biggest shareholder in M1.

$1 = 1.3751 Singapore dollars Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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