Nokia shares surge more than 8%

Nokia stock surged 8.1% to $32.67 in Helsinki, hours before the company was to release its fourth-quarter and 2007 earnings, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said markets were expecting a strong result with some analysts predicting that Nokia has reached its long-term goal of 40% global market share of handset sales.

Ahead of the earnings announcement, Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was quoted as saying in an interview that the company will not change its decision to shut a mobile phone plant in Bochum, Germany, despite widespread protests and possible damage to Nokia's image.

'Despite several efforts we have not found a sustainable solution for the Bochum factory,' Kallasvuo said. 'It's difficult to imagine that in talks with personnel we would find something new which can change our decision.'

Last week, politicians, employees and local residents in Germany voiced anger at Nokia's decision to shut down the Bochum plant in the industrial Ruhr region with the likely loss of 2,300 jobs, the Associated Press report said.

In the interview, Kallasvuo said that the fate of the plant, which produces 6% of all Nokia's handsets, had been under company scrutiny for several years. He said production costs had become too high in Germany, the report added.