Nokia profits drop by 30 percent

The Finnish handset behemoth's profits have fallen significantly, its latest quarterly results show

Nokia has released its third-quarter results, showing a significant drop in sales and profits.

According to the results, issued on Thursday, net sales were down five percent year-on-year. Quarterly profits were down by just over 30 percent over the same period, ending up at €1.09bn (£852m). Operating profits were down 21 percent year-on-year.

Nokia's global market share dropped slightly, down one percent from its 39 percent share in the third quarter of 2007. The Finnish firm's chief executive, however, gave an upbeat take on the situation.

"As a result of our strong operational management and market position, Nokia was able to achieve solid margins and operating cash flow of €1.3bn for the third quarter of 2008," said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. "With our scale, brand, improving product portfolio and low cost structure, we believe Nokia is well positioned for the current times."

Nokia has a particularly strong grip on the lower end of the market, and one reason for the drop in profits appears to have been a drop in the average selling price of a Nokia handset. This was €72 in the third quarter of this year, and €74 in the corresponding quarter last year.

The drop in average price was "primarily due to a higher proportion of lower-priced products and the negative impact of the weaker US dollar", according to Nokia's statement. In the third quarter of this year, 310 million units were sold: an eight percent year-on-year rise.

Nokia's sales of mobile phones saw healthy year-on-year increases in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and the Asia-Pacific regions. In Europe, however, unit sales were down 5.5 percent, and North America saw a drop of 16.7 percent.

Looking to the future, Nokia said it expected its market share to hold or slightly increase in the fourth quarter of 2008.

The manufacturer's intra-day share price had fallen nearly eight percent at the time of writing.

Nokia is the first of the major phone manufacturers to announce its Q3 results. Sony Ericsson will announce its results on Friday.


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