Stora Enso to cut 2,500 jobs in restructuring plan

Finnish paper and packaging company Stora Enso said on Tuesday it would shed 2,500 jobs, mostly in Finland and Sweden, citing a weak European economy and the company's poor profitability.

The cuts were part of a restructuring plan announced in April.

"We have to respond to weakness in the European economy, structurally shrinking markets in some of our businesses and our poor profitability," chief executive Jouko Karvinen said in a statement.

Sweden will be the most affected with 750 job cuts planned, followed by Finland, where 650 positions will be eliminated.

In the rest of Europe, Stora Enso will reduce its workforce by 850 employees. The cuts won't affect the group's production capacity.

"Our European driven printed media markets have shrunk more than 20 percent since 2008," Karvinen said in April when announcing a 200-million-euro ($268 million) cost-saving programme.

"There is no reason to believe that the structural change of the past five years in Europe will slow down or change direction in the foreseeable future," he added.

The Finnish group made a net loss of 17 million euros in the first quarter of the year.

Shares in the company were up by 1.25 percent in midday trading on the Helsinki bourse, where the main index was trading 0.16 percent lower.