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Nokia takes a Q1 tumble

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Handset maker Nokia missed targets for the first quarter today and saw its shares fall more than ten per cent.

Sales were up 28 per cent to €12.6bn in the first quarter ended 31 March 2008, and net profit grew 25 per cent to €1.2bn. But analysts were expecting profits of closer to €1.38bn, so Nokia shares were down 10.5 per cent on the Helsinki exchange. Falling US sales and an uncertain outlook for Europe were blamed.

The Finnish firm sold 115.5m handsets in the period - up 27 per cent year-on-year, but down 13 per cent on last quarter. This gave Nokia an estimated 39 per cent market share, up from 36 per cent in Q1 2007 but down from 40 per cent in Q4 of 2007.

US sales suffered worse - falling 45.8 per cent year-on-year, from 4.8m in Q1 2007 to 2.6m in Q1 of 2008. Its largest market, Asia-Pacific, saw sales grow from 23.7m in Q1 of 2007 to 34.1m in 2008.

Average selling price was €79, down from €83 in the last quarter of 2007.

Overall Nokia expects the worldwide handset market to grow ten per cent in 2008 from 1.14bn units in 2007, but Nokia believes the value of this market will decline in euro terms.

Nokia said it now expected the mobile device market to decline in value because of "the negative impact of the recently weakened dollar, the general economic slowdown in the US, and possibly going forward some economic slowdown in Europe". The company expects mobile and fixed line infrastructure market to stay flat in 2008, having previously predicted slight growth.

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