By MATTI HUUHTANEN
HELSINKI (AP) -- Nokia Corp. on Thursday announced a further 3,500 job cuts by 2012 as it strives to save costs while its global market share continues to fall in stiff competition against rivals.
The Finnish cellphone maker said it will close a manufacturing plant in Cluj, Romania, by the end of 2011 which will mean 2,200 job cuts when supply chain operations are adjusted too. Other changes will mean the loss of 1,300 job cuts, it said.
The planned layoffs are in addition to 7,000 worldwide job cuts - which Nokia announced in April - through layoffs and outsourcing.
Nokia stock was virtually unchanged at euro4.15 ($5.66) in early trading in Helsinki.
The announcement came as the world's top cellphone maker seeks to cut operating expenses by euro1 billion ($1.5 billion) by 2013 amid fierce competition in the top end smartphone market from Apple Inc., Research in Motion and Google Inc., as well as from numerous Asian handset makers that produce cheaper phones in emerging markets.
Nokia said it was closing the Romanian plant because its "high-volume Asian factories provide greater scale and proximity benefits" even as CEO Stephen Elop said that Europe would remain "core to Nokia's future."
Elop described the layoffs and other measures as "painful yet necessary" as the company strives to cut costs.
"We are seeing solid progress against our strategy, and with these planned changes we will emerge as a more dynamic, nimble and efficient challenger," Elop said.
The Espoo-based company, near Helsinki, employs 132,500 people - 7 percent more than a year ago.
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