x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Nokia jobs in Middle East under threat

Nokia "anticipates impacts" to its Middle East business, following an announcement on Thursday that it is to cut 10,000 jobs globally.

Nokia's Middle Eastern operation is likely to be hit by a decision to axe about 10,000 jobs globally.

Last week, the troubled handset maker announced a sweeping round of job cuts, amid mounting losses due to tough competition from rivals such as Samsung and Apple.

Nokia said the 10,000 global job cuts will be made by the end of next year. While more than a third of those are expected be made in Finland, the company also foresees an impact in this region.

"[The] planned changes will impact Nokia employees throughout our operations globally," a company spokeswoman said.

"While we anticipate impacts in Middle East, we have no specifics to provide at this stage," the spokeswoman added.

The Finnish company has 4,641 employees in the Middle East and Africa region, according to its latest quarterly report.

However, that number also includes staff in the Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) division, a joint venture between the Finnish firm and Siemens.

Excluding the NSN staff, Nokia says it has fewer than 1,000 employees working in the wider India, Middle East and Africa region.

Nokia posted a loss of €929 million (Dh4.31 billion), in the first quarter of this year on the back of a 29 per cent decline in sales.

Its sales of mobile phones and services declined by 31 per cent in the Middle East and Africa, ahead of the global average in what was a dismal first quarter for the company.

In a bid to increase its share of the lucrative smartphone market, Nokia recently unveiled its new Lumia handsets, which run on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform.

While this range has won critical acclaim, the Lumia is still not available through official channels in the UAE.

bflanagan@thenational.ae

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