Mobile phone and networking giant Nokia has reported that net sales in the fourth quarter dipped 1pc to €8.8bn. Overall the company reported that mobile phone volumes grew 20pc and that the company is still profitable with a 38pc share of the global mobile phone market.
Mobile phone volumes for Nokia in the fourth quarter grew 20pc to 55.3m units, giving the company an estimated 38pc share of the world mobile market. The company said that it achieved excellent profitability in its mobile phones business in the fourth quarter, with operating margins of 24.7pc. Colour screen phones made up about half of the company’s mobile phones volume during the quarter.
Nokia Networks sales during the fourth quarter were €1.7bn, exceeding the company’s own expectations.
For the full year of 2003, Nokia saw net sales fall 2pc to €29.5bn, with the mobile phone division achieving operating margins of 23.6pc. Nokia Networks sales decreased 14pc on the year to €5.6bn.
Despite the sales decrease, an upbeat Nokia chairman and CEO Jorma Ollila commented: “2003 was a record year for the mobile handset industry and for Nokia Mobile Phones. With volume growth of 16pc, the mobile phone market achieved record volumes of 471m units for the year, and culminated in high fourth quarter volumes of 145m units, according to our preliminary estimates. Nokia Mobile Phones reached not only record profits, but also higher-than-ever sales and volumes. In addition, we managed to slightly increase our mobile phone market share to just above 38pc for the full year.
“We strengthened our position in three strategic areas by attaining the number one market position in the US and the number one position in GSM in China, as well as significantly increasing global CDMA market share. I am also very pleased with the 12pc pro forma operating margin achieved by Nokia Networks in the fourth quarter. Towards the end of the year, the infrastructure market showed encouraging signs of recovery as the mobile operators increased investments and the market began to stabilise,” Ollila said.
By John Kennedy
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