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Nokia beats fourth quarter forecasts

Nokia, the world's largest mobile-phone maker, beat its earnings estimate for the fourth quarter, and forecast double-digit sales growth for both its handset and networks businesses

Characterising 2001 as a year of intense competition, extreme volatility and a weakened global economy, Nokia reported a 63% fall in net profit to €450 million (£277m), compared with €1.2bn for the same period a year ago.

On a pro forma basis, which excludes amortisation of goodwill and non-recurring items, net profit for the fourth quarter dipped by 5% from €1.21bn in 2000 to €1.15bn (£709m) in 2001.

Sales amounted to €8.79bn (£5.4bn), down 5% from €9.28bn in the same period a year ago. Split up by division, sales fell by 17% in the Mobile Networks business; while sales remained steady in the Mobile Phones organisation at €6.7bn for both 2000 and 2001, Nokia reported.

Looking ahead, Nokia said that although first-quarter sales are expected to be about 6-10% lower than last year, both the infrastructure and mobile-phone operations are anticipated to show full-year growth of about 15%.

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