Nokia to axe 3,500 jobs as cost cuts bite

 
Steve Dinneen
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EMBATTLED phonemaker Nokia yesterday announced it will slash 3,500 more jobs, including the closure of a major factory in Romania.

The cuts are on top of at least 4,000 job losses announced earlier this year.

Chief executive Stephen Elop is desperately trying to spin the wheel of the Titanic in the face of falling profits and a market increasingly dominated by Apple, Google and Samsung.

The future of three more plants hangs in the balance, with Nokia considering an overhaul at sites in Finland, Mexico and Hungary.

The Romanian factory, which has a turnover equivalent to 1.3 per cent of the nation’s GDP, will shed 2,200 jobs.

The cost-cutting drive is part of a broader plan to realign the company to better suit the rapidly evolving mobile landscape. Central to that is a deal with Microsoft to use its Windows Phone operating system on all new Nokia handsets.

Its new range, which could be make or break for the firm’s alliance with Microsoft, is due out before Christmas. Some analysts say Nokia has already taken too long to develop the new range and may never recover the ground lost to rivals including Taiwanese firm HTC.

Samsung recently overtook Nokia as the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer, a title it had held since the conception of the device. Apple has also superceded its rival, although Nokia remains the biggest overall handset maker.

To compound its misery, credit rating agency Moody’s this summer cut Nokia’s rating two notches from A3 to Baa2, the second-lowest investment grade rating.