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Nokia Siemens Reiterates EUR1 Billion Cost Saving Target

HELSINKI -(Dow Jones)- Finnish-German network equipment vendor Nokia Siemens Networks (NOK, SI) reiterated its EUR1 billion cost cutting target Thursday, rebuffing a media report that it had doubled that target. "We have always stated that we're looking for an annualised operating cost reduction of EUR1 billion by the end of 2013," Nokia Siemens Networks spokesman Ben Roome told Dow Jones Newswires. The comment came after Financial Times Deutschland reported that the company seeks to reduce annual costs by EUR2 billion, citing unidentified persons close to the company. The report didn't give a time frame for the cost reduction target. Nokia Siemens Networks said in November it would cut 17,000 jobs globally by the end of 2013, and restructure its business in an effort to reach sustainable profitability. The joint venture started operations in 2007 and has been struggling in the face of tough competition ever since. The NSN spokesman said he "was not certain" whether Nokia Siemens Networks would update its EUR1 billion target on April 19, the day when its troubled parent Nokia Corp. (NOK) is scheduled to present first-quarter earnings. On Thursday, Nokia issued a profit warning its operating margin would be negative by about 3% in the first quarter of the year, due to harsh competition, adding it doesn't expect any improvement in the second quarter. Nokia has so far announced plans to shed around 14,000 job cuts since last February's decision to adopt Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone operating system in all its new smartphones and phase out its aging Symbian platform, a move it says will help it regain market share after struggling to compete with Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone and smartphones that use Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android software. -By Arild Moen, Dow Jones Newswires; +358-45-2059 755; arild.moen@dowjones.com

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