HELSINKI: Nokia Corp, the world’s biggest mobile phone maker, has posted a 2002 fourth- quarter profit that was more than double that of a year earlier, but warned that sales in the first quarter of 2003 would be down because of a softer market.
For the final quarter of 2002, the company reported income of 1.04 billion euros (US$1.1bil), up 132% from 450 million euros previously. The latest results included 736 million euros in restructuring costs, write-downs and goodwill.
Sales in the quarter were up 1% from a year earlier at 8.8 billion euros. For the whole of 2002, however, sales were down 4% from the year before at 30 billion euros, reflecting in part weaker sales in the Americas offset by strong growth in Europe and the Pacific Rim.
The company said sales of its handsets totalled 23.2 billion euros last year, slightly higher than the 23.1 billion euros recorded in 2001. It reported “good growth” in Europe and Asia, but a drop in the Americas.
Nokia introduced several new models during 2002, many featuring colour screens and a host of features, including cameras, advanced messaging and gaming. But it faces growing competition from rivals such as Sweden’s Sony Ericsson and Motorola Inc of the United States.
Nokia’s networks unit reported sales growth of 6% to2.1 billion euros, including 370 million euros in 3G-related revenue. That was due in part to increased use in the United States, but dampened by weakened sales in China.
Nokia said the mobile phone market returned to growth in 2002 with overall market volume reaching about 405 million units, a gain of 5% compared with 2001 volume of around 380 million units.
Europe and Asia saw increased growth of about 8%, in part because of higher demand for the array of colour phones, fast connections and third-generation services widely available there. Demand in the Americas also increased, rising by 4% from 2001 to 2002. – AP