Nokia Cuts 1,800 Jobs

By Cindy Waxer October 21, 2010

Despite stronger-than-expected profit for the third quarter, Nokia Corp. has announced plans to lay off 1,800 employees.

The world’s largest mobile phone maker reported third-quarter net profit of euro529 million ($733 million). That compares to a net loss of euro559 million in the third quarter last year. Net sales in the quarter increased 5 percent to euro10.2 billion. As a result, Nokia’s stock soared by 7 percent to $11.44.

Revenue for the quarter rose 4.7 percent to €10.27 billion while total device volumes increased 2 percent to 110.4 million. Adjusted operating profit for the quarter fell 14 percent to €634 million. Shipments in the quarter were below market expectations, but the average selling price was higher than analysts had forecast.

Nevertheless, newly minted chief executive Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft executive, is slashing 1,800 jobs and delaying a key product after parts shortages helped Nokia post stronger-than-expected profits. The company attributes the job cuts to changes in product development in its Symbian smart phone line which faces stiff competition from Apple’s iPhone, RIM’s BlackBerry and Google’s Android platform.

Nokia employs about 131,500 people, with 66,000 of those at its Nokia Siemens Networks joint venture. The company stated it will "accelerate its transformation and increase effectiveness ... including simplifying operations in product creation in Nokia’s Symbian smart phones organization."

Last month, following a five-month wait, Nokia began shipping its much-anticipated N8 handset to customers. The company said deliveries would begin immediately for pre-orders of the touchscreen model, which had received “the highest amount of consumer pre-orders in Nokia history,” according to the company. Worldwide availability would be “in the coming weeks” and will vary by country, Nokia said.

As for fending off rivals, Elop said in a statement, “We will make both the strategic and operational improvements necessary to ensure that we continue to delight our customers and deliver superior financial results to our shareholders.”

Edited by Erin Harrison

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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