Nokia, the world's largest cell phone
maker, posted a 41 percent increase in profit for the fourth
quarter, helped by continued strong growth in handset sales, but it
said growth may be slower than expected in the first quarter.
The growth projection sent Nokia shares down 8.4 percent to
36.40 euros ($33.39) by midday Tuesday on the Stockholm stock
Nokia said its net profit for the three months ended Dec. 31 was
1.2 billion euros ($1 billion), up from 853 million euros in the
same period the previous year.
Sales climbed 46 percent to 9.3 billion euros ($8.3 billion) for
the three months, up from 6.4 billion euros the previous year.
The wireless equipment maker said mobile phone division sales
rose 35 percent to 1.4 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in quarter and
57 percent to 4.8 billion euros ($4.3 billion) for the year.
"In mobile phones, we comfortably achieved all our full-year
targets and advanced our number one market share position," Nokia
said in a statement. "In 2000, we grew faster than the market
during every quarter and in every region."
But Nokia was more cautious about the near future, saying it
sees first quarter sales growth of between 25 percent and 30
percent slower than expected.
It also modified its 2001 unit sales forecast from 550 million
units to between 500 million and 550 million units. It added that
market growth for the second half is likely to be stronger than for
"The anticipated shift in the mobile phone industry is now
taking place and market growth is gradually settling into less
exceptional levels than we have seen in the near past," Nokia
chief executive Jorma Ollila said in a statement.
The warning comes on the heels of an announcement on Friday by
Nordic rival LM Ericsson that it will transfer the production of
its handsets to Singapore-based Flextronics International and focus
on developing technology for mobile devices that can access the
Nokia's net profit for the full year was 3.9 billion euros ($3.5
billion), up from 2.6 billion euros in 1999. Revenues for the year
rose 54 percent to 30.4 billion euros ($27 billion).
The company, with headquarters in Espoo, just outside of
Helsinki, has more than 60,000 employees and sales in 130