Nokia's IT employees escape job cuts

Nokia has declined to rule its IT contractors in or out of a streamlining plan that will eliminate 1,700 jobs from its worldwide operations within the next few months.

The word's largest mobile phone maker will cut jobs across its operations including sales, markets and corporate development, following falling demand for new handsets.

The Finnish group also plans to scale down its "technology management" and "streamline" its research and development division for its Devices division.

But a spokeswoman said "no IT employees" would be affected by the plans, which will result in 700 jobs going in Finland, and an undisclosed number in Britain.

The cuts are in addition to the 1,000 voluntary redundancies announced last month by the company, which has UK offices in London, Farnborough and Cambridge.

Nokia stressed the cuts were part of its existing plan to reduce annual costs by more than €700m (£467m) by 2010, in a bid to "safeguard future competitiveness."

It also said it was pruning back operations to align with the handset market, and would continue "to seek savings in operational expenses, [by] looking at all areas and activities".

According to its final quarter trading statement of last year, Nokia's operating profits slumped 80% to €492m on the back of a 19 per cent fall in sales to €12.7bn.

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