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Cautious Nokia looks to the future

Nokia has warned that while it expects to meet its third-quarter profit estimates, it will delay the rollout of new networks and expects sales of its mobile phones to slow down.

The statement was issued before the terrorist attacks in the US on 11 September, and it is unclear if the unfolding events will have a further effect on sales, profits or the construction of new networks.

"It is too early to say anything regarding the aftermath of the attacks. If anything changes, we will surely release a statement," a Nokia spokeswoman said on 13 September.

Nokia expects revenues for its third quarter (which ends on 30 September) to be 5% lower than the same quarter last year when the company reported a net profit of 892m euros (£555m).

In July, when the Finland-based company showed its first decline in five years in its second-quarter results, it forecasted year-on-year growth of up to 5%. At the time, Nokia also added that it was not giving guidance for the fourth quarter, due to the "lack of visibility".

Nokia is reassessing the roll-out of its new networks, including its Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) technologies due to a decrease in market-wide capital investments in the networks, the company said.

Last month, the company announced it had successfully completed its first third-generation (3G) Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA) voice call, testing its first commercial 3G terminal in both W-CDMA and GSM.

"On the infrastructure side, the ongoing technology transition from mobile voice to mobile data, together with economic instability, have increased uncertainty," said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Nokia's executive vice-president and chief financial officer.

Demand for mobile technology was "showing signs of picking up in the US", while the performance in the Asian markets was still solid, Nokia said. But the company gave no revised timelines for the deployment of any new technologies or networks.

Nokia expects to meet its third-quarter earnings-per-share forecasts of 0.14 euros to 0.16 euros per share, the company said.

Shares of Nokia traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange were higher in late-morning trading on 13 September, up 8.1%, or 1.29 euros to trade at 17.2 euros per share. The company has experienced a 52-week low of 13.55 euros per share and a 52-week high of 59.9 euros per share.

Nokia is also traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which has been closed since the terrorist attacks and is not expected to reopen for trading until 17 September. On 10 September, the day before the terrorist attack, Nokia's stock on the NYSE closed at $13.75 (£9.33) per share, an increase of 48 cents per share. The company has experienced a 52-week low of $12.7 per share and a 52-week high of $53.75 per share.

Nokia will release its third-quarter earnings report on 19 October and will issue a mid-quarter update for the fourth quarter on 11 December, the company said.

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