Vodafone is looking to cut about 1,000 jobs in Italy as part of a larger cost saving plan the telecoms giant is pursuing to revamp its operations, two union officials told Reuters.

The figures emerged after an internal meeting between unions and company representatives in Italy on Thursday.

As of last March, Vodafone's workforce in Italy totalled 5,765 employees, according to the group's latest annual report.

A negotiation process with unions is expected to kick off in the coming weeks, the officials said.

Vodafone's planned jobs cuts are focused in particular on customer care operations, one of the officials added.

Vodafone had no immediate comment.

Like other operators in Italy, Vodafone has been grappling for years with a challenging market, characterised by aggressive price competition which has eroded earnings.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina Editing by Keith Weir)