Nokia Lumia Sales Increase Fails To Prevent Q1 Loss

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Sales of Nokia Lumia smartphones increase by 27 percent

Sales of Windows Phone-based Nokia Lumia smartphones increased by 27 percent to 5.6 million units during the first quarter of 2013, although slowing demand for mobile phones in general contributed to a €150 million (£128 million) loss at the troubled mobile giant.

The Finnish manufacturer recorded a €439 million profit during the previous quarter, but suffered a massive €1.57 billion loss during the same period last year.

Nokia sold 62 million handsets during the period between January and March but sales of mobile phones decreased by 30 percent to 55.8 million. The company attributed this slide to a competitive market and a higher than normal traditional seasonal decline in demand.

Nokia Q1 results released

Nokia-Lumia-620-4Until recently, Nokia’s struggle to make an impact on the smartphone industry has been offset by strong sales of its feature phones, which have been strengthened in by the launch of the Nokia Asha range.

Nokia was also hit by a 30 percent quarter-on-quarter slump in sales from its telecoms equipment venture Nokia Siemens Networks.

“At the highest level, we are pleased that Nokia Group achieved underlying operating profitability for the third quarter in a row,” said CEO Stephen Elop. “While operating in a highly competitive environment, Nokia is executing our strategy with urgency and managing our costs very well.

“We have areas where we are making progress, and areas where we are further increasing the focus. For example, people are responding positively to the Lumia portfolio, and our volumes are increasing quarter over quarter. Nokia Siemens Networks delivered another strong quarter and contributed to an overall improvement in Nokia Group’s cash position.

“On the other hand, our Mobile Phones business faces a difficult competitive environment, and we are taking tactical actions and bringing new innovation to market to address our challenges.”

Despite the losses, Nokia will be pleased by the success of its Lumia range, which is central to the firm’s hopes of regaining lost share in the smartphone market. Nokia first adopted Windows Phone two years ago, but despite releasing critically well-received smartphones running the platform, they have struggled to make a significant impact until very recently.

Nokia has taken advantage of an increasingly competitive UK smartphone market to secure 5.6 percent of all sales during the three months leading up to March 2013, helping Windows Phone establish itself as a genuine alternative.

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