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Thursday, 15 March, 2001, 11:55 GMT
Nokia lowers sales forecast
Nokia's 8210 communicator
Nokia: sales will be less impressive than hoped
Mobile phone firm Nokia says it will not sell as many handsets as had been expected during the first three months of the year.

The Finnish telecoms goliath said that its performance was being hit by the slowdown in the US economy.


Especially in the US, economic uncertainty has increased during the last weeks

Nokia

It estimated that sales during the three months to the end of March would be 20% higher than the same period in 2000.

It had been expected to clock up a 25% to 30% rise.

"The slower than expected sales growth in the first quarter is mainly due to the stronger than anticipated impact of demanding market conditions," the company said in a statement.

"Especially in the US, economic uncertainty has increased during the last weeks," it added.

Ericsson losses

But the company's statement that it was sticking to previous profits forecasts, sparked a 10% surge in its share price.

Nokia said that it would be able to hit profits forecasts because its profit margins on handsets would be higher than previously expected.

On Monday its rival Ericsson warned it would report a heavy loss in the first quarter because of worse than expected sales.

Stock markets had been waiting anxiously for a sales update from Nokia, which had been one of the few tech giants around the world not to issue a profits warning in the past few weeks.

In 2000 as a whole Nokia sold more than 128 million phones, nearly 66% more than the year before.

When those sales were announced earlier this year they still disappointed analysts, who had forecast sales of 135 million to 140 million units.

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