Lumia sales lift Nokia fourth quarter (Q4) results, raise turnaround hopes
The Finnish company, which has been losing market share to Samsung and Apple, said the better-than-expected result was also helped by 50 million euros ($65.2 million) in patent fees, cost cuts and a stronger-than-expected performance from its Nokia Siemens Networks unit.
The update lifted some pressure from Chief Executive Stephen Elop, who has been trying to prove his February 2011 decision to switch to Microsoft Windows software was the right one.
Many investors had said he was running out of time to produce results. Success of the high-end Lumia smartphones has been considered particularly crucial for the company's survival.
"We're very pleased with the Lumia response," Elop said, although he added that sales of the latest 920 models, which use the new Windows Phone 8 software, had been constrained by a shortage of supplies.
Nokia estimated fourth-quarter operating margin in its mobile phone business was between break-even to 2 percent. It previously forecast the margin to be around minus 6 percent.
Official results, including more details on its profit and cash position, are due on Jan. 24.
However, the company said that the competitive environment remains tough and forecast the margin to be minus 2 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Fourth-quarter net sales in devices and services were about 3.9 billion euros ($5.09 billion), Nokia said. It sold a total of 86.3 million devices.
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