The launch of Windows Phone 8 devices appears to have boosted Nokia, with the Finnish manufacturer revealing it sold 4.4m Lumia smartphones during its fourth quarter.
Nokia said preliminary results for its devices and services division have exceeded expectations and the wing has achieved underlying profitability. However, it warned it would have a difficult start to its next financial year because of the competitive environment, seasonality and the economy.
The preliminary results are for the three months to 31 December 2012 and include when its Lumia 920 and 820 devices went on sale. Its smart devices division had net sales of Eu1.2bn, up from Eu976m for its third quarter. Lumia sales were up 1.5m to 4.4m and it sold 6.6m units during the quarter, up from 6.3m. In total, Nokia's mobile sales were up 9.5% to Eu3.9bn, with unit sales of 86.3m, up from 82.9m.
Nokia will reveal further financial details when its fourth quarter results are published on 24 January. The manufacturer predicted its operating margin will be between zero and 2%, compared to its previous prediction of -6%. It said the better than expected performance of its Lumia devices was responsible, along with a decrease in expenses. Nokia has been cutting costs as part of a restructure, shedding staff and units, such as its luxury phone wing Vertu, which was sold last year.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said: 'We are pleased that Q4 2012 was a solid quarter where we exceeded expectations and delivered underlying profitability in Devices & Services and record underlying profitability in Nokia Siemens Network. We focused on our priorities and as a result we sold a total of 14 million Asha smartphones and Lumia smartphones while managing our costs efficiently, and Nokia Siemens Networks delivered yet another very good quarter.'
Author: Graeme Neill