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Nokia N.A. Cellphone Unit Volume Jumps 22%

Helsinki, Finland — A strengthening position in both the CDMA and GSM markets pushed up Nokia unit sales of mobile phones in North America 22 percent during the company’s fiscal fourth quarter. Unit volume reached 9.8 million in the three months, ended Dec. 12, up from 8 million in the year-ago three months.

Company worldwide mobile phone unit volume climbed 27 percent in the fourth quarter, reaching 83.7 million, up from 66.1 million in the same period in 2004.

With sales booming in China, followed by Asia-Pacific and North America, Nokia fourth-quarter mobile phone dollar sales rose 6 percent, coming in at $7.6 billion, up from $7.2 billion the previous year.

A decline in average selling prices (ASPs) reduced fourth-quarter mobile phone operating profit by 4 percent from $1.4 billion to $1.3 billion. Operating margin in the three months decreased to 17.1 percent from a year-earlier 18.9 percent, driven largely by the decline in ASPs. The company reported it sold more low-priced phones in the quarter, with the average selling price at $121.50, compared with $136.30 in the previous quarter.

For the 12 months, Nokia mobile phone sales jumped 12 percent, hitting $25.6 billion, up from $22.7 billion in 2004. Operating profit was off by 5 percent in the period, down to $4.4 billion, from $4.6 billion the previous year.

Consolidated Nokia sales increased 9 percent in the fourth quarter, up to $12.7 billion from a year-ago $11.6 billion. Operating income was off 6 percent in the quarter, down to $1.7 billion from $1.8 billion. Net income edged downward 1 percent to $1.32 billion from a year-on-year $1.33 billion

In the 12 months, consolidated Nokia sales grew 16 percent, the highest sales growth the company has enjoyed since 2000. Dollar volume hit $50 billion for year, compared with $36.1 billion in 2004. Operating income for the year increased 7 percent, rising to $5.7 billion, from $5.3 billion a year earlier. Net income for the period was up 13 percent, hitting $4.4 billion, compared with a year-earlier $3.9 billion.

In the first quarter of this year, Nokia said it expects its market share to be flat or slightly higher, with global phone shipments predicted to rise 10 percent, up from 795 million in the fiscal year just ended. This was a 24 percent climb over shipments year-over-year.