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Strong growth buoys Nokia profit

After selling its ailing handset unit, Nokia has turned a fourth-quarter net profit of 443 million euro (£331 million) with sales increasing nearly 10%, partly buoyed by strong growth in North America.

The Finland-based company said revenue grew to 3.8 billion euros (£2.8 billion) over the period, from 3.48 billion euros (£2.6 billion) a year earlier when it reported a net loss of 26 million euro (£19 million).

Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri noted excellent network profitability in the period with strong growth in all operations, after selling its loss-making devices and services to Microsoft last year.

Mr Suri said that last year had been "a time of significant change ... and reinvention" while 2015 will be a year of "execution".

"We will not shy away from investing where we need to invest," he said.

"But, we plan to always combine that with disciplined cost control and a focus on delivering ongoing productivity and quality improvements across the company."

Nokia said it expects annual sales to grow in 2015 in all three remain sectors: networks, mapping services and technologies and patents.

"Nokia seems to be progressing very steadily in the right direction now," said Mikael Rautanen, analyst at Independent Equity Research.

"No doubt the company will make investments and purchases for services that supplement its existing operations."

The company's core networks business that accounts for nearly 90% of total sales grew 8% in the period with broadband sales increasing 13%. Sales in North America jumped 95% to 514 million euro (£384 million). Growth in Europe, Africa and the Middle East was up 4%.

Nokia, with a large portfolio of patents, also saw strong growth, of 15% in mapping services and 23% in technologies, mainly from payments by licensees, including Microsoft, which bought the devices and services unit for 7.5 billion dollars (£4.9 billion), including a licence to some patents.

Nokia's share price was down more than 1% at 7.01 euro (£5.23) when markets opened in Helsinki.


From Belfast Telegraph