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Nokia announces 1,700 job cuts

Sites in Finland, US and UK affected

Phone manufacturer Nokia has revealed it will slash 1,700 jobs in a bid to survive the recession.

The cuts will affect Nokia's Devices and Markets units as well as its Corporate Development Office and global support functions, said the company.

The cuts will be made globally, with the largest number of layoffs made in Finland, where a maximum of 700 jobs will be cut. Eija-Riita Huovinen, communications manager at Nokia also said the US and UK will see job cuts.

Nokia first announced plans to make staff cuts in February, after it revealed its fourth-quarter results, which showed that sales were down about 19 percent year on year. The company sold 113.1 million phones in the quarter, a decline of 15 percent from a year earlier and also lower than the 117.8 million it sold during the third quarter.

Nokia, like other vendors in the sector, aims to lower its costs. The company plans to cut more than €700 million in costs by next year.

The first round of job cuts covered the closing of Nokia's R&D site in Jyväskylä, Finland, which will see about 320 employees laid off. The company is also making temporary cuts at its production facility in Salo.

The mobile phone arena, like many other markets, has been hit by the economic downturn. A fourth quarter that was dismal at best set the stage for a very rough 2009, according to market research company IDC.

Fourth quarter shipments fell by 11.6 percent year over year, marking the first time the Christmas period has not recorded double digit growth in seven years, IDC said. It expects mobile phone sales to drop by approximately eight percent in 2009.

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