Nokia Loses $1.2 Billion in Q1

'We have faced greater than expected competitive challenges,' says CEO.

The world leader in the manufacture of mobile phones, Nokia ( IW 1000/61), reported a quarterly net loss which was far worse than expected on and reshuffled its global team.

Nokia had issued a profit warning last week, but the net loss of 929 million euros (US$1.2 billion) in the first quarter of the year was far beyond the loss of 554 million euros broadly expected by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

Sales fell by 30% on a 12-month comparison to 7.354 billion euros, and this figure was in line with analysts' expectations.

Nokia posted an operating loss of 1.34 billion euros over the period, almost double the loss of 731 million euros expected by analysts and said smartphone sales fell by 42% in the quarter.

Amid the disappointing results, Nokia announced in a separate statement that Colin Giles, executive vice president of sales and a member of the Nokia leadership team, would leave the company effective June 30. "With Giles departure, Nokia will restructure the sales organization by reducing a layer of sales management to ensure greater customer focus and providing senior leaders greater visibility into market dynamics," the company said.

"We are navigating through a significant company transition in an industry environment that continues to evolve and shift quickly, Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop said.

"Over the last year we have made progress on our new strategy, but we have faced greater than expected competitive challenges," he said.

The Finnish company is undergoing a major restructuring, phasing out its Symbian line of smartphones in favor of a partnership with Microsoft that has produced a first line of Lumia smartphones.

Nokia is depending heavily on the new phones to help maintain its ranking as the world's biggest maker of mobile phones as it operates in a rapidly changing landscape with RiM's Blackberry, Apple's iPhone and handsets running Google's Android platform take growing bites out of its market share.

On April 16, ratings agency Moody's downgraded its ratings for Nokia owing to poor prospects for future sales. The agency also maintained a negative outlook on senior debt owed by Nokia.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

See Also
S&P Downgrades Nokia Over Dwindling Smartphone Share

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