Europe’s largest pay-TV company, Vivendi Universal-owned Canal Plus, is to shed ten per cent of its workforce in an effort to stem the unit’s massive losses.

In total 389 jobs are on the line: 251 will disappear entirely while another 138 support positions will be outsourced. The company made an operating loss of €29 million ($31.65m; £19.72m) last year.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Canal Plus insisted the job losses are “absolutely necessary to turning the company around”. The decimation is part of a restructuring plan, put forward by new Canal Plus chairman Bertrand Meheut, which aims to return to profitability this year with a mix of cost-cutting and sale of non-core assets.

Continued the statement: “The measures … are the consequence of Canal Group's financial difficulties since 1997. To get back to profit and cut its debt, Canal has begun a programme of selling non-strategic assets, mainly abroad, to focus mainly on its French pay-television activities. Canal's new structure should produce an operating profit from the end of 2003."”

The broadcaster says it expects the plan to be approved by unions, although Gerard Chollet of the CFDT union has already condemned it as “unacceptable”.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff