Nokia showed a return to profitability as it published its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2012.
The mobile manufacturer recorded profit of €439m for the three-month period, up from a €576m loss in the previous quarter and a €954m loss in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Sales rose to bring in more than €8bn in revenue, up from €7.2bn in the previous quarter, but this was down 20% year on year when the Finnish firm posted sales of over €10bn.
“We are very encouraged that our team’s execution against our business strategy has started to translate into financial results. Most notably we are pleased that Nokia Group reached underlying operating profitability in the fourth quarter and for the full year 2012,” said Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.
“While the first half of 2012 was difficult for Nokia Group, in Q4 2012 we strengthened our financial position, improved our underlying operating margin in devices and services, introduced the Here brand to expand our mapping and location experiences, and drove record profitability in Nokia Siemens Networks,” he added.
Nokia’s biggest seller was the budget Asha smartphone, shipping 9.3 million handsets in the quarter. Sales of its flagship Lumia smartphone range totalled 4.4 million – the most it has sold in any quarter since their release – and some 2.2 million Symbian handsets were sold in the period.
Feature phones – including Asha – still represented its biggest market, with 79.6 million units shipped in the fourth quarter. This was a 4% increase from the previous quarter, but down when compared with the 93.9 million Nokia smartphones shipped in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Nokia Siemens Networks – the arm of the company responsible for telecoms and networking backhaul equipment – brought in net sales of almost €4bn, making it the only area of the company where figures were higher than in the fourth quarter of 2011 – up 5%.
In 2011, it announced it was refocusing its business on the area of mobile broadband and services, leading to 15,300 job losses in the division. By the end of this quarter, it had been subject to €1.3bn in restructuring costs.
“We remain focused on moving through our transition, which includes continuing to improve our product competitiveness, accelerate the way we operate and manage our costs effectively," said Elop. "All of these efforts are aimed at improving our financial performance and delivering more value to our shareholders.”