Nokia Profits up 25% in First-Quarter

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Nokia posted a $1.9 billion profit in the first-quarter of this year, up 25% from last year’s $1.6 billon first-quarter. Revenue grew 28% to $20 billion from $15.6 billion a year earlier. Nokia saw strong growth in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Despite nearly $2 billion in profits, Nokia stock dropped 13.5% by the end of trading on Thursday. Analysts had predicted a 42% rise in profit for the first-quarter of 2008. Nokia stock ended trading at $28.76.

In the fourth-quarter of 2007, Nokia had 40% of the world market. It slipped to 39% in the first-quarter of this year. Nokia sold 115 million handsets in the first-quarter, up 27% from 2007’s numbers. The company’s market share still makes Nokia the world’s biggest seller of mobile phones.

Nokia Chief Executive Olli-Pella Kallasvuo said he is content with the first-quarter numbers but is disappointed in investors who dropped the company’s stock price today.

Nokia predicts an overall growth in sales of 10% but is concerned it may lose value when compared to 2007 because of a weak U.S. dollar and economic slowdown in the United States and Europe.

“A fall in the mobile handset market, in euro terms, seems likely this year, and the reason for this is the strong decline in the dollar versus the euro during the early part of the year and last year,” Kallasvuo said.

Nokia saw its best growth in the Asia-Pacific region, which over took Europe as the company’s biggest market for the first time. The company sold 34 million devices in the Asia-Pacific region, accounting for more than a third of Nokia’s sales.

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