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Nokia cuts mobile handset forecast

Q1 profits to stay flat

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Nokia today warned profit would stay flat for Q1, while cutting handset sales forecasts for the year.

The mobile phone giant said growth would be slower than expected for the first quarter of 2001 - it expects earnings per share of 0.19 euros, matching Q1 the previous year. It forecast sales growth of 25-30 per cent from a year earlier.

Nokia recorded healthy results for 2000 - pre-tax profit for the fourth quarter of 2000 was up 39 per cent to 1.77 billion euros ($1.62 billion), slightly beating expectations. Sales for the quarter climbed to 9.28 billion euros from 6.37 billion euros.

Profit for the full year rose to 5.78 billion euros ($5.3 billion) from 3.91 billion euros. This was on sales of 30.38 billion euros, up from 19.77 billion euros in 1999.

The Finnish company, which controls around a third of the global handset market, said it expected to sell between 500 million and 550 million mobile handsets this year. It had previously predicted 550 million.

Earlier this week rival Ericcson announced it was to pull out of mobile handset manufacturing after seeing huge losses in its consumer division. ®

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