Fortum To Sack 750 Workers

Fortum Oyj said it plans to fire seven hundred and fifty workers as the Nordic region's second largest power company cuts costs and streamlines its operations.

Two thirds of the 750 employees are located in Sweden, while the rest are in Finland, Fortum said in a statement distributed by Hugin. The move comes after the Finnish company bought the fifty percent stake that it did not yet own in Sweden's Birka Energi AB for 3.4 billion euros ($3.2 billion) last year.

Cost savings will ``be realized through savings from minimizing overlapping resources and functions,'' said Tapio Kuula, president of Fortum's power and heat unit, in a statement. He expects annual cost savings of 100 million euros from the Birka purchase.

Fortum shares rose 15 cents, or 2.7 percent, to 5.66 euros, bringing this year's climb to 19 percent. About 6.6 million shares had changed hands. That's more than eight times the daily average in the past six months.

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