Nokia plans to cut up to 14,000 jobs after sales and profits plunge in a weak market

HELSINKI — Telecom gear maker Nokia said today that it is planning to cut up to 14,000 jobs worldwide, or 16% of its workforce, as part of a push to reduce costs following a plunge in third-quarter sales and profit.

The Finnish wireless and fixed-network equipment provider said the planned measures are aimed at reducing its cost base and increasing operational efficiency “to navigate the current market uncertainty.”

The company said it is aiming to lower its cost base by between 800 million euros ($843 billion) and 1.2 billion euros by the end of 2026. That was set to lead to a reduction from 86,000 employees now to between 72,000 and 77,000 during that time period.

Nokia’s third-quarter sales plummeted 20%, to 4.98 billion euros from 6.24 billion, compared with the same three-month period last year. Comparable net profit plunged to 299 million euros from 551 million in the July-to-September quarter from a year earlier.

The company’s biggest unit by revenue — the mobile networks business — declined 24% to 2.16 billion euros, driven mainly by weakness in the North American market. Operating profit for the division fell 64%.

“We continue to believe in the mid- to long-term attractiveness of our markets,” Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark said in a statement. “Cloud computing and AI revolutions will not materialize without significant investments in networks that have vastly improved capabilities.”

While it’s unclear when the market will improve, Nokia isn’t “standing still but taking decisive action on three levels: strategic, operational and cost,” Lundmark said. “I believe these actions will make us stronger and deliver significant value for our shareholders.”

Nokia is one of the world’s main suppliers of 5G, the latest generation of broadband technology, along with Sweden’s Ericsson, China’s Huawei and South Korea’s Samsung.

Earlier this year, Ericsson said it was cutting 8% of its global workforce as it looked to reduce costs.