Australia's Telstra to cut 650 jobs as part of digital restructuring

SYDNEY Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:26pm EST

SYDNEY Feb 21 (Reuters) - Australia's biggest telephone company, Telstra Corp Ltd, said it will cut around 650 jobs at its directory services unit Sensis as part of a restructuring away from its traditional print-based model to a digital media business.

The nationwide cuts represent 18.5 percent of the total Sensis work force of 3,500.

Telstra said on Wednesday it planned to set up a new digital customer management centre and outsource some customer service functions.

"Until now we have been operating with an outdated print-based model - this is no longer sustainable for us," Sensis Managing Director John Allan said in a statement.

"Already, more than 60 percent of our customers now are advertising online and in mobile apps, while our White and Yellow Pages digital services received 18.4 million visits in January."

Telstra shares edged up 0.2 percent to A$4.57 by 0147 GMT, compared with a 1.3 percent slip in the broader market.

Telstra earlier this month posted an 8.8 percent rise in half-year profit as it attracted new customers to its mobile business. (Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Jane Wardell and Edmund Klamann)

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