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Nokia 3rd Qtr. Mobile Phone Sales Rise 7%

12/23/2002 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Spurred by the arrival of an increasing number of mass volume mobile phones with color and multimedia messaging capability, handset maker Nokia reported a 7 percent sales increase in its Mobile Phones division, hitting $5.5 billion in the third quarter, up from $5.2 billion in the year-ago period.

Operating profit in the Mobile Phones segment, by far the company's largest, soared 25 percent in the third quarter, reaching $1.2 billion, up from $961 million in the same three months last year, including charges. Margins in the phones business exceed Nokia's expectations, at what it called a "healthy" 22.2 percent. Pro forma operating profit for the phone segment reached $1.2 billion, up from $983.6 billion in the year-ago three months.

Nokia said the positive visibility of its newest phones suggests overall market volume for 2002 will reach earlier expectations of 400 million units sold. All regions are estimated to show growth of at least 5 percent, with the United States following hard on the heels of gains in Asia Pacific and Europe.

For the nine months, sales in the Mobile Phones division were flat, coming in at $16.2 billion for the period, compared with $16.1 billion a year ago.

Operating profit for Mobile Phones in the nine months, including charges, reached $3.5 billion, up from $3 billion the previous year.

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