Nokia’s handset sales dip ahead of Microsoft sale

Oliver Smith
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NOKIA’S handset division slumped during the fourth quarter with sales of €2.6bn (£2.1bn), down five per cent on the previous quarter, ahead of the division’s upcoming sale to Microsoft during the first quarter of 2014.

The news sent shares down more than 10 per cent in Helsinki yesterday.

During a call with analysts the company confirmed that sales of its flagship Lumia smartphones fell to 8.2m during the quarter, down from 8.8m during the previous quarter. Nokia sold 30m Lumia smartphones in 2013, up from just 14m in 2012.

“While the first quarter of the year is seasonally weak for our continuing operations, we continue to expect the closing of the Microsoft transaction to significantly improve Nokia’s earnings profile,” said Nokia chairman and interim chief executive Risto Siilasmaa.

The Finnish telecoms firm reported a 22 per cent year-on-year fall in sales at its network equipment unit, the primary business that will remain after sale of its former mobile phone business to Microsoft for €5.4bn closes during the first quarter of 2014.

Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) sales fell to €3.1bn in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.

Overall Nokia’s results were in line with analyst expectations. The firm reported earnings per share of €0.05, from a loss of €0.20 in 2012.

“We are diligently working towards defining Nokia’s future direction,” said Siilasmaa. “I’m pleased with the progress we have made thus far in our strategy evaluation and excited by the opportunities ahead for each of our three continuing businesses.”