The British mobile phone company Vodafone has confirmed that it plans to lay off about 500 people in the UK. That is around five percent of its workforce there.It is the latest move by the network operator to meet the cost cut target it unveiled in November. To maintain profits and boost free cash flow Vodafone is trying to reduce its costs by the equivalent of just over one billion euros. Vodafone is the world’s biggest mobile phone group in terms of sales and it claims 289 million customers in 52 countries. Worldwide it employs about 71,000 people. Announcing the job losses, Vodafone also reduced its outlook revenue for the current financial year, the second time it has done that in four months. The economic downturn has not hit telecoms companies as hard as many other sectors but is still slowing growth, especially in mature markets like western Europe.