Nokia's fourth quarter results were better than expected and "exceeded expectations," according to the company. Despite the troubles in recent quarters, notably the second and third quarter, Nokia has prevailed with a strong quarter thanks to the December holiday sales.
The Espoo, Finland-based phone maker sold 6.6 million 'Smart Device' units, totaling €1.2 billion ($1.57bn). Out of that, Nokia said two-thirds of those were Lumia smartphones, totalling 4.4 million units.
Nokia sold more Lumia smartphones during the December holiday period than it did during the second and third quarters each -- 4 million in Q2, and 2.9 million in Q3.
Aside from Lumia, Nokia sold 15.9 million smartphone units during the fourth quarter, including 9.3 million Asha phones, and 2.2 million Symbian smartphones. The phone maker said the "Devices & Services [division] has exceeded expectations and achieved underlying profitability in the fourth quarter 2012."
Devices & Services net sales for the fourth quarter comes in at approximately €3.9 billion ($5.13bn), while total device volumes stand at 86.3 million units. The unit's operating expenses were lower than expected, and the firm is expected to break even or reach positive 2 percent.
Nokia rocketed by 16 percent in pre-market trading after its handset and equipment sales beat forecasts, and rose by as much as 22 percent before the opening bell.
For Nokia Siemens Networks, the troubled telecoms equipment maker, the division also "exceeded expectations" and recorded a third consequtive quarter of underlying profitability. However, Nokia warned that "seasonality is expected to have a negative impact on the first quarter 2013" compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.
Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop said in prepared remarks:
"We are pleased that Q4 2012 was a solid quarter where we exceeded expectations and delivered underlying profitability in Devices & Services and record underlying profitability in Nokia Siemens Networks. We focused on our priorities and as a result we sold a total of 14 million Asha smartphones and Lumia smartphones while managing our costs efficiently, and Nokia Siemens Networks delivered yet another very good quarter."