Nokia turnaround since handset unit sale continues

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia appears to have turned around its fortunes after the sale of its ailing cellphone unit to Microsoft, reporting a third-quarter net profit of 747 million euros ($950 million), from a loss of 91 million euros a year earlier. Sales grew 13 percent.

The result surprised markets, pushing Nokia Corp. stock up more than 6 percent to 6.90 euros in Helsinki.

CEO Rajeev Suri said he was pleased to note strong growth in all three remaining operations during the quarter — networks, mapping and software — saying the performance of the key networks sector was "particularly satisfying."

Suri, who joined Nokia in 1995 and took over as CEO in May after the completion of the $7.2 billion sale of the handset and services unit to Microsoft, said the quarterly result "demonstrates our strong position in a world where technology is undergoing significant change."

Nokia predicted strong growth to continue in the networks sector, which accounts for around 90 percent of Nokia's revenue, but cautioned that annual expenditures were expected to be 250 million euros this year, compared with an earlier estimate of 200 million euros. Also, investments in technologies and patent licensing "will take time to come to fruition," it said.

Sales in the period grew to 3.3 billion euros, from 2.9 billion euros a year earlier.

On Thursday, Nokia also appointed Sean Fernback as president of its HERE mapping and location services. He joined the company from TomTom in 2014.