Nokia fails to stop slumping business | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 19.07.2012
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Nokia fails to stop slumping business

Mobile phone giant Nokia has reported a worse-than-expected second quarter loss as it struggles to catch up with bigger rivals Apple and Samsung. Outlook for the third quarter isn't much better.

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia posted a net loss of 1.41 billion euros ($1.74 billion) from April through June, the firm said in an earnings statement Thursday, describing the period as "a difficult quarter."

The loss was higher than in the previous quarter, when the shortfall was about one billion euros, and four times the 368 million euro loss that the firm experienced in the same quarter a year ago.

The result came on the back of a 19 percent plunge in sale to 7.54 billion euros, and was worse than analysts had feared in a poll carried by Dow Jones Newswires; that particular poll predicted loss in the range of 650 million euros.

"We are executing our restructuring program with urgency," Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop said. But he added that he expected the third quarter to be a similarly "challenging quarter."

Lumia push

Nokia was the world's biggest mobile phone manufacturer for 14 years until it lost that title to rival Samsung earlier this year.

The Finnish company changed its business strategy about a year ago, involving a re-location of production to Asia and the phasing out of its Symbian smartphones in favor of an alliance with Microsoft.

Following the partnership, Nokia's new Lumia smartphone was released, of which it sold about 4 million units in the second quarter, "exceeding company expectations."

However, the figure is still a far cry from the sales of market leaders Apple and Samsung, which are expected to ship about 30 million iPhones and 50 million Galaxy smartphones to customers this year.

Nevertheless, Nokia shares rose on Thursday, driven by the news that the firm still holds net cash of 4.2 billion euros, which market experts believe is sufficient to tide the company over during its restructuring.

uhe/sej (AFP, Reuters, dpa)