Nokia Q4: a glimmer of hope emerges

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Glimmer of Hope

Look, things are still bad at Nokia — a company flush with cash doesn’t keep cutting jobs — but it does look like there’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

The Finnish communications giant today announced that it brought in EUR439-million in profit in the fourth quarter of 2012, a fairly big turnaround from the EUR576-million loss it made in the previous quarter. That profit comes off the back of an approximated EUR8-billion in sales, up 11% from the same period a year ago.

Nokia also confirmed its previous announcement that it had sold 4.4-million Lumia smartphones along with 9.3-million Asha series phones. Smartphone sales were however still down 63% from what they were a year ago.

Feature phone sales meanwhile were up four percent on Q3 but still down 15% year on year for a total of 76.6-million units.

Interestingly the only real growth market for Nokia in terms of device sales has been North America. In the past year, its mobile presence there grew by 40% (admittedly from a fairly small base). That could indicate that Windows Phone is gaining traction among early adopters growing weary of the various patent disputes going on between Apple and various manufacturers whose phones run Android.

Here’s what Nokia CEO Stephen Elop had to say about the results:

We are very encouraged that our team’s execution against our business strategy has started to translate into financial results. Most notably we are pleased that Nokia Group reached underlying operating profitability in the fourth quarter and for the full year 2012.

While the first half of 2012 was difficult for Nokia Group, in Q4 2012 we strengthened our financial position, improved our underlying operating margin in Devices & Services, introduced the HERE brand to expand our mapping and location experiences, and drove record profitability in Nokia Siemens Networks.

We remain focused on moving through our transition, which includes continuing to improve our product competitiveness, accelerate the way we operate and manage our costs effectively. All of these efforts are aimed at improving our financial performance and delivering more value to our shareholders.”

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