Business

Nokia to cut another 3,500 jobs and close a factory

Shopper walking past Nokia advert
Image caption Nokia has been slower than rivals to take advantage of the lucrative market for smartphones

Mobile phone giant Nokia is to cut 3,500 jobs and close a plant in Romania as part of its restructuring plan.

The cuts are in addition to thousands of job losses already announced by Nokia, which in April unveiled a 1bn-euro cost-cutting programme.

Nokia said it would shut its plant in Cluj, Romania, and cut jobs in its location division, whose products include maps for mobile phones.

It is also reviewing the future of plants in Finland, Hungary and Mexico.

"We must take painful, yet necessary, steps to align our workforce and operations with our path forward," said chief executive Stephen Elop.

Nokia shares have almost halved this year and opened down 1.7% on Thursday, but staged a recovery and were 1% up by midday.

"Nokia plans to close its manufacturing facilities in Cluj, Romania, by the end of 2011... and plans to close its (locations and commerce development) operations in Bonn, Germany and Malvern, US," by the end of next year, the company statement said.

Geoff Blaber, analyst at CCS Insight, said: "The scaling back of its manufacturing presence was sadly inevitable but it's clear that Elop is not afraid of taking the tough decisions to ensure Nokia's long-term survival."

Nokia's statement said the company would look to "focus its feature phone manufacturing on those locations with optimal proximity to suppliers and key markets".

Some analysts interpreted this as a signal that Nokia could shift manufacturing to Asia.

"If you think about where the markets are, the growth markets are in Asia, and it makes sense to manufacture a product close to the customer," said Pohjola Bank analyst Hannu Rauhala.

In July, the company plunged into the red as sales fell and margins were squeezed in the second quarter.

The firm made a net loss of 368m euros ($521m; £323m) in the three months to the end of June, compared with a profit of 227m euros a year earlier. Net sales fell by 7% to 9.3bn euros.

Nokia has lost ground to competitors such as Apple's iPhone and phones using Google's Android operating system.

Earlier this year, Nokia announced 7,000 job cuts worldwide - with 3,000 of the posts being transferred to consultancy group Accenture - as part of strategy to focus on smartphones.

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