Inside AFP

AFP plans job cuts to strengthen finances: CEO

Agence France-Presse's chief executive announced  plans on Thursday to cut 125 jobs over five years, saying the measure was  necessary in order to stabilise the agency's finances.

The cuts would affect some five percent of overall staff positions in the Paris-based world news agency. Chief executive Fabrice Fries announced the plan at a meeting of the agency's governing board. He said the measures would not include compulsory layoffs. Instead, 160 retiring staff will not be replaced, while the number of new employees over the period will be limited to 35. The cuts will be spread over the editorial, technical and administrative departments.

The measures are part of what Fries called a "transformation plan" which aims to balance the agency's books by 2021. AFP management says that if it does not rein in costs, the agency's operating deficit will swell to 90 million euros ($104 million) over the next five years. It aims to cut costs by 16.5 million euros in 2023, mostly by reducing staff numbers.

Fries took over as chief executive in April after his predecessor resigned. He has vowed to boost sales by 30 million euros over five years, chiefly by investing in video and photo production.

AFP employs nearly 2,300 people in 151 countries.