iiNet confirms layoffs last week

Despite a recent upbeat profit guidance, Western Australian ISP iiNet last week let go of a number of staff; but it won't divulge numbers.

Despite a recent upbeat profit guidance, the nation's third-largest ISP iiNet last week let go of a number of staff; but it won't divulge numbers.

Responding to a discussion on broadband forum Whirlpool posted last Friday, iiNet chieftain Michael Malone said the number of staff retrenched from both iiNet and subsidiary Westnet was "not remotely close to 100".

"It was certainly more iiNet than Westnet. The focus was in the head office areas, not in customer service," he wrote.

The executive said the layoffs were not a sign that the Westnet and iiNet brands would be merged. iiNet, which is 22 per cent owned by fellow West Australian company, fibre network operator Amcom, acquired Westnet for $81 million May last year, adding 560 staff to its headcount.

At the time, Malone had said that iiNet would retain Westnet's brand and staff. He had also flagged that savings would come from its network rather than headcount.

Malone today declined to make any further comments on the layoffs, but told ZDNet.com.au: "This is a time to look forward, not backward."

The company earlier this month issued a full year net profit guidance of $25 million, up $1.7 million on the 2007/08 financial year, with the company saying it held a low enough debt burden to pursue growth through acquisitions and expanded operations.

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