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Euronews: Fitch Junks Nokia

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), ST-Ericsson , ADVA Optical Networking and Etisalat kick things off in today's trot through the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • Bloomberg reports that ratings agency Fitch Ratings Ltd. has cut Nokia's debt rating to BB+, one notch below investment grade, sending it officially into "junk" territory. Timo Ihamuotila, Nokia's executive vice president and CFO, responded that the company is "quickly taking action to position Nokia for future growth and success," maintaining that Nokia's financial position remains strong. (See Fitch Downgrades Nokia to 'BB+', Nokia Responds to Fitch Rating Cut, Nokia Loses More Than €1.57B and Euronews: Nokia's Q1 Device Disaster.)

  • Just hours after it announced that it would be cutting 1,700 jobs, mobile chip joint venture ST-Ericsson posted a net loss of US$321 million in its first quarter, which compares with a loss of $178 million in the same period a year earlier. The job cuts are part of a major restructuring process, which sees ST-Ericsson shifting a key part of its operations to its Swiss parent STMicroelectronics NV (NYSE: STM), as this Reuters report explains. (See ST-Ericsson Reports Q1 Loss of $312M and ST-Ericsson Revamps, Cuts 1,700 Jobs.)

  • Positive financial news for ADVA, the German transport equipment vendor, which posted a profit of €4.5 million ($5.9 million) in its first quarter from revenues of €81.7 million ($107.6 million). This compares with the even more pocket-sized profit of €0.9 million ($1.1 million) for the year-ago period. (See ADVA Reports €4M Q1 Profit and ADVA Talks 100G.)

  • UAE-based operator Etisalat saw its growing international revenues help make up for a decline in its home market as it posted a first-quarter net profit of AED1.8 billion (($493 million), down slightly year-on-year. (See Etisalat Reports Q1 Profit of AED1.8B, Euronews: Etisalat Tunes to AlcaLu's lightRadio and Etisalat Switches On LTE-FDD in UAE.)

  • It's also a challenge on the domestic front for Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN), which recorded a 51 percent year-on-year fall in its first-quarter profits, from €591 million ($778 million) a year ago to €288 million ($379 million). It is currently in the throes of a radical cost-cutting program, which it says is going so well that it's two years ahead of schedule. (See KPN Earns €288M in Q1, KPN Reviews Belgium Mobile Biz, KPN Lowers 2012 Profit Outlook and KPN CFO Resigns.)

  • In France, one of the major labor unions, Force Ouvriere, has met with telecom regulator Arcep to assess the possible implications the arrival of Iliad (Euronext: ILD)'s Free Mobile low-cost brand could have in terms of job losses for its members, reports Telecompaper (subscription required). (See Euronews: Iliad Gets the All-Clear on Free Mobile and Iliad Disrupts the French Mobile Scene .)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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