[en] We present new XMM-Newton results on the field around the NGC 346 star cluster in the SMC. This continues and extends previously published work on Chandra observations of the same field. The two XMM-Newton observations were obtained, respectively, 6 months before and 6 months after the previously published Chandra data. Of the 51 X-ray sources detected with XMM-Newton, 29 were already detected with Chandra. Comparing the properties of these X-ray sources in each of our three data sets has enabled us to investigate their variability on timescales of a year. Changes in the flux levels and/or spectral properties were observed for 21 of these sources. In addition, we discovered long-term variations in the X-ray properties of the peculiar system HD 5980, a luminous blue variable star that is likely to be a colliding wind binary system, which displayed the largest luminosity during the first XMM-Newton observation.