NOKIA experienced a rare surge in its stock yesterday after it posted a far smaller loss than analysts had feared.
The struggling Finnish manufacturer lost €68m (£59.5m), compared to a profit of €529m last year. However, it was a vast improvement on the €368m it lost in the last quarter.
Investors rallied on hopes Nokia may have hit rock bottom after embarking on what has proved to be a painful and drawn-out restructuring.
The firm hopes its fortunes will turn on the release of its first handset powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 software, which is expected to be unveiled next week.
Chief executive Stephen Elop made the radical decision to ditch Nokia’s own Symbian platform to team up with Microsoft, which is currently languishing with just two or three per cent market share.
Nokia’s smartphone sales dropped 38 per cent from a year ago to 16.8m, slightly ahead of analysts’ forecasts of 15.9m. It sold 89.8m basic mobile phones in the quarter, beating all analysts expectations, as sales soared in Asia, Middle-East and Africa.
Rival firms have unveiled their potential iPhone killers over the last week, including Motorola’s Razr and HTC’s Titan.