Disconnected from smart phone boom Nokia posts record loss | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 19.04.2012
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Disconnected from smart phone boom Nokia posts record loss

Weaker smart phone sales have hammered Nokia's earnings and profits in the first quarter of 2012, forcing the Finish mobile phone maker to announce a record loss. Sales of conventional handsets are also down.

Still the world's leading mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia is fast losing ground to rivals Samsung and Apple as it has reported a worse-than-expected loss for the first three months of 2012.

Nokia posted a net loss of 929 million euros ($1.2 billion) in that period and saw revenues fall 30 percent to 7.354 billion euros over the last 12 months, the Finish mobile phone maker said Thursday.

Industry analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires expected Nokia profits to slump to just 554 million euros.

Facing greater than expected "competitive challenges," Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop attributed the loss to a business environment which was "evolving and shifting quickly" as the company was going through "significant transition."

Slumping core business

Sales in Europe - Nokia's main market - declined by 35 percent compared with the first quarter of 2011. In China, which is the world's fastest growing mobile phone market, they even plunged a staggering 70 percent.

In the money-spinning smart phone segment, the number of Nokia phones sold almost halved to 11.9 million handsets, with the company's latest Lumia smart phone reaching sales of just 2 million units.

In addition, growing competition from Asian low-cost manufacturers forced Nokia to cut prices in the conventional mobile phone segment by 22 percent on average, resulting in fewer earnings from the firm's core business.

Amid the disappointing results, Nokia announced that its Executive Vice President of Sales, Colin Giles, would leave the company in June.

"With Giles departure, Nokia will restructure the sales organization by reducing a layer of sales management to ensure greater customer focus and providing senior leaders greater visibility into market dynamics," the company said in a statement.

Meanwhile, international ratings agency Moody's has downgraded Nokia's creditworthiness, expressing doubts about the firm's recovery in future.

uhe/nk (AFP, dpa)