Areva says to cut 5,000-6,000 jobs globally

Areva Human Resources Director Francois Nogue answers journalists at the headquarters of the French nuclear reactor maker Areva, at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie near Paris May 7, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - Loss-making French state-controlled nuclear group Areva AREVA.PA plans to axe as many as 6,000 jobs, about 14 percent of its headcount, as it seeks to reduce labour costs by about 15 percent in France and 18 percent in total internationally.

“We expect 3,000 to 4,000 job cuts in France and 5,000 to 6,000 globally, but more towards 6,000,” Francois Nogue, human resources director for the group, said on Thursday.

The job cuts in France will be part of the global headcount reduction, which the company hopes to complete by the end of 2017.

Areva, whose equity capital has been virtually wiped out by four years of losses, employs 42,000 people worldwide, including 28,000 in France.

Nogue said staff costs - at about 3.4 billion euros (3 billion pounds), including about 2.4 billion in France - were a major part of Areva’s cost base.

Areva said it would also cut bonuses and other variable pay items, and negotiate with unions about working hours. Nogue said he expected talks with unions to last a few months.

Staff cuts and wage reduction will account for about two thirds of a 1 billion euro cost reduction plan, Nogue said.

In 2014, Areva booked a loss of 4.8 billion euros on revenue of 8.3 billion. The company aims to present a restructuring plan by the time it publishes first-half results in July.

Shares in Areva were 2.6 percent lower by 0942 GMT.

Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by James Regan