ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Florida Power Corp. is trimming 350 jobs by the end of the year and expects further cutbacks to be necessary as the company prepares for increased competition.

The utility, which currently employs 5,200 people, cut 500 employees in the past year.

Employees affected by the latest cut will be notified over the next few weeks, the company said Wednesday. More than 50 of the positions already are vacant.

Company spokeswoman Karen Raihill said Tuesday that further breakdown by region or job classification were not available.

Florida Power serves 1.2 million customers in Central and North Florida, covering an area that includes parts of 32 of the state's 67 counties.