* Operating profit 43.8 mln euros vs forecast 41.2 mln
* Benefits from cost cuts (Adds details)
HELSINKI Feb 6 (Reuters) - Nordic IT services provider Tieto reported a 28 percent jump in its fourth-quarter adjusted profit as cost cuts helped it weather a fall in sales.
Tieto, which competes with bigger technology services companies such as IBM and Accenture, said its quarterly operating profit excluding items rose to 43.8 million euros ($59.3 million). Analysts on average expected 41.2 million euros, according to a Reuters poll.
Sales fell 2 percent to 478.6 million euros as businesses throughout Europe reconsidered major IT investments.
The company forecast operating profit excluding items to improve in 2013 after cutting costs and divesting some operations in Europe to cope with slower corporate spending.
It sold off businesses in Italy and Spain late last year. This week it announced that it will sell most of its operations in Germany and the Netherlands, a move that will help improve its underlying operating margin by 0.5 percentage point.
It proposed an annual dividend of 83 euro cents a year, up from the previous year's 75 cents. ($1 = 0.7392 euros) (Reporting by Helsinki Newsroom)