SMART metering company Bglobal has announced jobs will be lost after a slump in sales.

Yesterday bosses embarked on a consultancy period with what is understood to be a significant number of staff from departments across the company.

In total, 135 people are employed at the headquarters in Commercial Road, Darwen.

Chief executive Tim Jackson-Smith said: “We’re very sorry to have to do this, but unfortunately we are having a review of jobs at Bglobal.

“Volumes are falling off in terms of installations, and we need to keep the business viable and keep the cost base down.

“When we announced our results in July, we thought this might be the case.

“We will be consulting with the employees affected and hope to get it all sorted as soon as possible for everyone concerned.”

The company revealed for the year ending March 2011, revenue increased 119 per cent to £28.99million, but it had made a pre-tax loss of £722,000 mainly due to its £12.8m acquisition of Utiligroup.

Mr Jackson Smith said that changes in Government policies had also had an affect on the company.

He said: “We were anticipating that the Government would roll out its plans for mass smart metering by 2012, but now this has been pushed back to 2014 and it probably won’t happen until 2015.

“The Government has also put back its plans for business smart metering to 2019, meaning other companies have more time to be more competitve.

“But the delays mean that Bglobal has a very good chance to see what to do with the business.”

Bglobal is the UK’s number one smart metering company, having installed 170,000 metres to industry.

Mike Damms of the East Lancashire Chamber of Trade, said: “Any news about job losses is disappointing, but I believe Bglobal can come back from this.

“It is a really good market leader in a new, emerging, industry that shows East Lancashire is not just reliant on textiles and manufacturing.”