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Smartphones bump Nokia to recovery

The smartphone maker has seen its market share rebound slightly, while quarterly operating profits are up 132 percent year-on-year
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Nokia has released its latest quarterly results, which show a 132 percent increase in operating profit year-on-year, along with a slight rise in market share.

In the fourth quarter of 2009, Nokia had a 39 percent share of the mobile device market, up from 37 percent a year before, according to the results, released on Thursday. Sales of high-end smartphones, namely the N-series and E-series, grew from 8.9 million to 10.7 million between the third and fourth quarters of 2009.

"We grew our market share in smartphones in the fourth quarter, driven by the successful launch of new touch and Qwerty models," Nokia chief Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said in a statement on Thursday. "Our performance in smartphones, combined with continuing success in the emerging markets, helped us increase sales in our Devices & Services unit, both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year."

Quarterly operating profit was up 131.9 percent year-on-year, rising from €492m (£426m) a year ago to €1.14bn in 2009. However, in the fourth quarter of 2008, Nokia saw an 80 percent drop in operating profit from the corresponding quarter of the previous year, an event blamed at the time on the recession.

Fourth-quarter earnings per share were up 73.3 percent year-on-year, from €0.15 to €0.26. However, annual earnings per share were down 77.1 percent, from €1.05 to €0.24, partly reflecting the recession that hit the mobile industry in 2009.

Nokia's share price on the NYSE was up almost seven percent at the time of writing on Thursday afternoon.

Nokia said in its statement that it expects industry mobile device volumes to increase 10 percent this year, compared with 2009, but it anticipates that its volume market share will remain the same.

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