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Profits fall 90% in 1st quarter at Nokia Corp

NOKIA Corp said yesterday that its profits plummeted 90 percent in the first quarter as demand for mobile phones continued to weaken amid a slump.

The world's top mobile phone maker said net profit was only 122 million euros (US$161 million) compared to 1.2 billion euros in the same period last year.

Sales fell 27 percent to 9.3 billion euros, from 12.7 billion euros in the first quarter of 2008.

Nokia's share price surged almost 8 percent in Helsinki to 10.92 euros after the report.

Nokia maintained its previous estimate that the mobile device market would shrink by 10 percent this year and held on to its target of boosting market share.

Nokia has fared better than many rivals during the world economic slump. But it, too, has been hit by falling demand. Last month it announced 1,700 layoffs worldwide.

"In what has been an exceptionally tough environment, we continue to invest in a focused manner in consumer Internet services delivered across our broad portfolio of mobile devices," Chief Executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said. "Combined, these solutions will drive our future growth."

Kallasvuo said he was "especially pleased" with the performance of the Nokia5800, a touch-screen music phone that rivals °?Apple's iPhone.

Nokia's handset sales plunged 33 percent in January to March to 6.2 billion euros, leaving Nokia with a 37-percent market share, unchanged from the previous quarter but down 2 percentage points from the first quarter of 2008.



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