Nokia hit by 33% slump in regional sales

Net sales drop to $815m while global losses quadruple to $1.73bn
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.

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Another tough quarter for troubled Finnish phone maker Nokia saw sales tumble 33% in the Middle East and Africa during the second quarter.

Net sales of devices and services in the region dropped to US$815m, while the number of devices sold fell by 5%.

Nokia, which lost its position as the world’s most prolific mobile phone vendor to Samsung during the quarter, has been racking up significant losses while it struggles to catch up with competitors in the smartphone space.

Its net loss for the quarter widened to US$1.73bn from US$452m in the same period last year.

“We hold our net cash resources at a steady level after adjusting for the annual dividend payment to our shareholders,” said Stephen Elop, Nokia’s CEO. “While Q3 will remain difficult, it is a critical priority to return our devices & services business to positive operating cash flow as quickly as possible.”

Nokia saw significant declines in every region apart from North America, which the firm attributed to sales of its new Lumia device. Lumia, which runs on Windows software, has replaced phones run on the Symbian operating system created by a Nokia subsidiary.

“The year-on-year decline in our smart devices volumes in the second quarter 2012 continued to be driven by the strong momentum of competing smartphone platforms relative to our Symbian devices, partially offset by sales of 4m Lumia devices,” Nokia said in a statement.

“All regions showed a significant year-on-year decline in the second quarter 2012 except for North America, where the sharp decline in sales of Symbian devices was more than offset by sales of our Lumia devices including the Lumia 900 with AT&T and the Lumia 710 with T-Mobile.”

According to Gartner, Nokia’s share of the global mobile phone market has dropped to 19.8% against Samsung’s 20.7%.

The vendor's share of the smartphone market is now 9.2%, down from 51% in the third quarter of 2007.

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