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Nokia Losses Continue Ahead of New Lumia Devices

Thu, 10/18/2012 - 7:25am
Andrew Berg

Nokia remains in the red for its sixth straight quarter, with net losses hitting $1.2 billion on $9.5 billion in total revenue, which was down 19 percent year over year. 

Sales of the company's Lumia smartphones dropped slightly to 2.9 million from 4 million sequentially, which could be attributed to consumers awaiting the launch of Nokia's new Windows 8-based Lumia smartphones. Those devices are expected to hit stores next month. 

Overall, Nokia said it sold 6.9 million smartphone, including Symbian devices, with an average selling price of $210. 

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said in a statement that he had expected that the third quarter would be a difficult one in its Devices & Services business, but he did find a silver lining, an increase in feature phone sales. 

"The positive consumer response to our new Asha full touch smartphones translated into strong sales," Elop said. "In Q3, our mobile phones business delivered a solid quarter with sequential sales growth and improved contribution margin."

While that's probably not exactly where Nokia wants to see improvement as it bets its life on a new line of high-end smartphones, any growth is good growth at this point. Nokia reported selling 77 million feature phones, up from 73 million in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile Nokia's wireless network joint venture with Siemens, Nokia Siemens Networks, managed to post a $238 million operating profit, up from a $149 million loss in the same quarter last year.

Nokia has been in the middle of a major restructuring and cost savings initiative. Over the past year, the company has laid off almost 10,000 workers, among other cost-cutting measures.

The future for Nokia remains uncertain. Improved fourth quarter holiday smartphone sales would appear to be an imperative but Nokia acknowledges that it expects the fourth quarter 2012 to be another challenging one for its smartphone segment. The company projects lower-than-normal benefit from seasonal sales, primarily due to product transitions and its ramp up plan for the new devices.

In an earnings report, Nokia reasserted its aim to reduce Devices & Services non-IFRS operating expenses to approximately $3.9 billion by the end of 2013.

Shares of Nokia were down more than 6 percent to $2.76 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.  

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