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Nokia to ax 320 jobs, temporarily lay off 2,500

NOKIA Corp. said today it will close a research center in Finland and ax up to 320 jobs in a move to save costs as the global economic downturn hit the mobile phone industry. It also announced temporary layoffs.

Nokia will close the research and development center in Jyvaskyla, southern Finland by the year-end, the world's largest mobile phone maker said. All 320 people working there will be affected, it said.

The Finnish company is also planning to temporarily lay off some 2,500 workers at a plant in Salo, on the southern coast, although production there will continue.

It will concentrate its Finland-based mobile devices R&D operations in Tampere, Oulu, Salo and the metropolitan Helsinki area.

Nokia stock was unchanged in Helsinki, at €9.77 (US$12.67), in late morning trading.

"With these plans, we aim to scale down Salo production to reflect reduced market demand, while operations in the factory continue uninterrupted," said Juha Putkiranta, from Nokia's demand supply network department. "This is one of the measures we are taking to adjust our global demand supply network to the current situation."

Nokia said it will also lay off some 90 employees as it discontinues some operations in the global support and new businesses departments.

Last month, Nokia warned of imminent cost-cutting measures after its fourth-quarter net profit crashed 69 percent to €576 million (US$744 million) from €1.8 billion in 2007. It also reported a loss of market share in the period - to 37 percent, from 38 percent in the previous quarter and 40 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Last year, Nokia remained the No.1 cell phone maker selling 468 million handsets, up 7 percent on 2008. But its net profit plunged 42 percent to €4 billion, while sales decreased 1 percent €51 billion.


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