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Nokia sales declined in ‘watershed’ fourth quarter

Nokia logoA reinvented Nokia posted losses for the fourth quarter and the entire year of 2013. However, the Finnish company, which sold off its devices unit to Microsoft in 2013, remained upbeat about its continuing businesses in networking, mapping and advanced technology.

Nokia reported net sales of $17.3 billion in 2013, down 17% compared to the previous year. For the fourth quarter, net sales stood at $4.8 billion, down by 21% when compared to the previous year, but an improvement of 18% over the previous quarter. Nokia posted an operating loss of $261 million 2013, compared to an operating profit of $132.5 million in 2012.

Despite these numbers, Nokia’s chairman and interim CEO Risto Siilasmaa viewed the end of 2013 as a turning point for the company.

“The fourth quarter of 2013 was a watershed moment in Nokia’s history,” said Risto Siilasmaa, Nokia’s chairman and interim CEO. “Having received overwhelmingly strong support from our shareholders at our extraordinary general meeting in November for the sale of our phones business to Microsoft, we are diligently working towards defining Nokia’s future direction.”

Nokia agreed to sell its device business to Microsoft for approximately $7.2 billion in September. The final closing date of the transaction has not yet been announced.  For the devices unit, which the company reported as “discontinued,” sales decreased 29% to $3.6 billion in 2013.

Nokia did not include unit sales of its closely-watched Lumia line of Windows smartphones in its earnings release, but later said it sold 8.2 million Lumia phones in the fourth quarter. That’s down from 8.8 million in the third quarter.

Nokia took control of Nokia Siemens Networks in August 2013, changing the name to Nokia Solutions and Networks. Now representing the bulk of Nokia’s business, NSN reported net sales of $4.2 billion for fourth quarter of 2013, down by 22% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Profits decreased in the same period, falling to $332 million in Q4 2013 compared to $344 million in Q4 2012.

Nokia’s mapping division, Here, saw its external net sales grow to $307 million, an increase of 10% year-on-year and 28% sequentially.

Nokia’s Advanced Technologies division focuses on developing innovations and managing the company’s treasure trove of patents, which number by some counts as many as 30,000. When it released its 2013 results, Nokia also announced that the patent license agreement with Samsung has been extended for 5 years. The Korean device maker will start payments starting from Jan. 1, 2014. The exact amount to be paid by Samsung will be finalized in binding arbitration, expected to conclude during 2015.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Sara Zaske
Sara Zaske
Contributor, [email protected] Sara Zaske covers European carrier news for RCR Wireless News from Berlin, Germany. She has more than ten years experience in communications. Prior to moving to Germany, she worked as the communications director for the Oregon State University Foundation. She is also a former reporter with the San Francisco Examiner and Independent, where she covered development, transportation and other issues in the City of San Francisco and San Mateo County. Follow her on Twitter @szaske

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