By John S. McClenahen Net sales for Finland-based Nokia Corp., the world's leading maker of mobile phones, were US$7.18 billion (8.007 billion euros), an impressive 22% better than the company's first-quarter 2000 performance. Operating profit of $1.23 billion was 4% higher than the year-before mark. On a so-called pro forma accounting basis, which excludes the amortization of the premiums paid for acquisitions, operating profit for the first three months of this year was $1.29 billion, 7.9% better than 2000's first calendar quarter. Nokia has started putting out its financials on a pro-forma basis -- as well as on the more common "reported" accounting basis that requires amortizing so-called goodwill -- arguing that pro forma increases "transparency" and provides "more meaningful information to investors." Reported net profit for the first quarter of 2001 was $874.5 million, up 9.4%, and on a pro-forma basis $938.3 million, up 14.9%. "We estimate that our first-quarter sales volume [of mobile phones] increased at more than twice the rate of the overall market, compared [with] the first quarter of 2000," says Nokia Chairman and CEO Jorma Ollila. "With 11 product announcements already on the board this year, we see ourselves as well positioned to move toward our stated 40% market share target."