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July 17, 2009

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Nokia profit drops 66% as recession hits demand

THE world's top cell phone maker, Nokia Corp, yesterday said earnings plunged 66 percent in the second quarter as the global recession sapped demand for handsets.

Net profit was 380 million euros (US$535 million), down from 1.1 billion euros in the same period a year earlier. Sales tumbled 25 percent to 9.91 billion euros.

Analysts polled by SME Direkt had forecast a profit of 327 million euros and sales of 10.1 billion euros.

The Finnish company, which sells about four in 10 mobile devices worldwide, dropped its target to increase market share this year, saying it expects its share of the mobile market to remain unchanged from 2008.

Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said the company "put in a solid performance in what was another tough quarter."

Its global market share rose to 38 percent in the second quarter, from 37 percent in the previous three months, but was still down from 40 percent a year earlier.

"We are balancing short-term priorities with our longer-term growth ambitions as elements of the mobile handset, PC, Internet and media industries converge to form a new industry," Kallasvuo said in a statement. "Consumers will increasingly expect devices and services designed as integrated solutions. To capture this opportunity we are accelerating our strategic transformation into a solutions company."

Mobile phone sales have fallen sharply in the economic slump. Global shipments fell 13 percent to 245 million units in the first quarter, the sharpest annual drop since the mobile phone industry started in the 1980s, said research firm Strategy Analytics.



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