Capital One Financial Corp. will lay off about 1,400 workers by next spring, transferring most of the work to outside contractors, the company said yesterday.

About 1,100 of the jobs to be eliminated are in Tampa; 160 jobs are to be cut in Dallas and 120 in Richmond. The employees work in call centers for the company's U.S. credit card operations.

The announcement came as the McLean consumer finance company said it earned $407.4 million ($1.65 a share) on revenue of $2.1 billion in the second quarter, compared with profit of $286.2 million ($1.23) on revenue of $2 billion in the second quarter of 2003.

For the six months ended June 30, Capital One earned $858.2 million ($3.48), a 44 percent jump from the first half of 2003. The company's core loan profitability grew in the period, but the increase in the bottom line was also attributable to a significant slowdown in the growth of overhead and operating expenses, particularly marketing expenses.

The company said better loan quality and its diversification away from higher-risk credit card accounts boosted profit in the second quarter.

Catherine West, president of Capital One's U.S. card division, said in a memo to employees that senior management had been asked "to look at how we invest and spend our money and how we measure up against our leading competitors." She said her group "concluded that we would need to increase the outsourcing of certain functions and reduce other positions through attrition and job eliminations."

She called the layoffs a difficult decision.

As of this spring, Capital One's "extended workforce," as it calls employees of contractors, numbered about 11,000 and was continuing to grow. The number of Capital One employees declined from 21,648 in 2001 to 17,760 last year. Some of the contract employees are in other countries, but Capital One said that most are in the United States.

Laid-off workers will be offered career assistance such as counseling, seminars and outplacement assistance. All full-time employees will be given severance packages and retraining help, company officials said.

Staff writer Terence O'Hara contributed to this report.