Bureau Chief, Helsinki
Ritsuko's Feed
Mar 3, 2014

Finland to curb austerity as recession, political fallout bite

HELSINKI, March 3 (Reuters) – Finnish government leaders,
faced with a prolonged recession and political fallout from
unpopular austerity measures, appear likely to reduce previously
announced spending cuts at budget talks that begin this month.

Data on Monday showed Finland’s gross domestic product
shrank 1.4 percent in 2013 as the economy took another turn for
the worse late in the year, driven by falling private
consumption and weak investment.

Feb 13, 2014

Debt worries cloud Finnish steel firm Outokumpu’s outlook

HELSINKI, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Finnish stainless steel maker
Outokumpu reported a higher debt ratio on Thursday,
raising concerns over its financing costs and the slow pace of
restructuring in response to weak European demand.

Outokumpu trimmed its underlying operating loss by more than
expected in the fourth quarter of 2013 and said it expects the
loss to shrink again in the first three months of this year due
to an uptick in demand and some improvement in prices.

Feb 12, 2014

Supercell to launch new game after sales soar in 2013

HELSINKI, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Finnish mobile game maker
Supercell plans to launch a third game next month, hoping to
replicate its success with hits “Clash of Clans” and “Hay Day”
that helped it to earn $892 million in revenue last year.

The growth in revenue from $101 million in 2012, to an
average of around $2.4 million a day, underscores a boom in
mobile gaming and Supercell’s spectacular rise since it was
founded in 2010.

Feb 6, 2014

Cost cuts help Finland’s Metso profit beat expectations

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finnish engineering company Metso (MEO1V.HE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit as cost cuts helped to offset a fall in sales, helping the shares rise 7 percent.

Metso’s fourth-quarter earnings before interest, tax and amortization (EBITA), excluding one-off items, rose 6 percent from a year earlier to 147 million euros ($199 million), beating the average forecast of 137 million in a Reuters poll.

Jan 28, 2014

Kone’s CEO gets off at the top after reporting strong order book

HELSINKI, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Finnish lifts and escalators
firm Kone’s chief executive Matti Alahuhta is to step
down at the end of March, the company announced on Tuesday,
after reporting a rise in profits and higher orders due to
strong demand in China.

Alahuhta, 61, a well-known figure in Finland who has also
served on the executive board of Nokia, said nine
years as CEO was a long time and that he wanted to do something
new. He will be replaced by chief financial officer Henrik
Ehrnrooth.

Jan 23, 2014

Nokia sets sights on reviving wireless network sales

HELSINKI, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Nokia has reported a
steep fall in sales at its network equipment division, raising
concerns about growth prospects for what will be its primary
operation after selling its former flagship phone business to
Microsoft.

The Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) division’s
fourth-quarter sales fell 22 percent from a year earlier to 3.1
billion euros ($4.2 billion) as it failed to make up for the
completion of large-scale Asian projects and withdrawal from
some low-margin businesses earlier in the year.

Jan 22, 2014

Steelmaker SSAB to buy Nordic rival Rautaruukki for $1.6 billion

HELSINKI/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Swedish steelmaker SSAB (SSABa.ST: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has agreed to buy Finland’s Rautaruukki Corp (RTRKS.HE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $1.6 billion as a prolonged downturn in demand forces Europe’s smaller players to cut costs and deal with idle capacity.

After racking up combined losses of more than 400 million euros ($542 million) over the past five quarters, the Nordic rivals sealed a combination that had been discussed on and off for decades but was given greater urgency by the crisis.

Jan 20, 2014

Phone-free Nokia under pressure to boost network sales

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Nokia is expected to show a steep fall in network equipment sales in its results this week, highlighting the challenge facing management after selling its once mighty handset division to Microsoft for 5.4 billion euros ($7.3 billion).

Improved profitability at Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) due to cost cutting have helped cushion the company’s declining handset business in recent quarters.

Jan 14, 2014

Helsinki revives Guggenheim aspirations with design competition

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finland has revived plans for a new Guggenheim museum on the Helsinki waterfront, raising chances for the capital to exploit the Guggenheim brand and join the big league of art destinations such as New York and Bilbao.

Helsinki’s city board decided on Monday to let the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation hold an architectural competition for a new museum, although it has yet to overturn an earlier vote against the project.

Dec 22, 2013

Finnish city Oulu sees light at end of Nokia tunnel

OULU, Finland, Dec 22 (Reuters) – From early December, the
Finnish city of Oulu is trapped in darkness for all but a few
murky midday hours, a darkness some feared might be matched by
its economic prospects after big local employer Nokia
hit the skids.

Oulu, with a population of about a quarter million, was once
a key Nokia R&D site, before the mobile maker was left for dead
in the global smartphone race by Apple’s iPhone and
handsets running Google’s Android software.