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Monday, 21 January, 2002, 11:16 GMT
Markets braced for mobile maker results
People using 3G mobile phones
The firms hope to drive growth through faster phones
Stock markets around the world are bracing themselves for a crucial week when the big three mobile phone makers - Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola - report their latest results.

All three mobile makers have already warned investors to expect a decline from the previous year due to the downturn in the economy and a slump in the market for mobile phones.

Results due
Motorola - Tuesday 22 Jan
Nokia - Thursday 24 Jan
Ericsson - Friday 25 Jan
Sweden's Ericsson is said to be on track to report its first ever yearly loss, while in the United States Motorola is forecast to make its first annual operating loss since the Great Depression.

And industry experts will be eagerly waiting for predictions from Finland's Nokia about future growth.

Many analysts believe that the results of these three firms will be the predominant force in stock markets around the world this week, guiding the direction of a wealth of related technology issues.

Disappointing Christmas

All eyes will be on Motorola on Tuesday to see whether its turnaround efforts are beginning to take effect.

The US firm - the world's second largest handset maker - has already slashed its workforce by almost a third in order to stem losses.

But the firm is expected nevertheless to report a fourth consecutive quarter of losses.

Meanwhile, its Swedish rival Ericsson is having an equally tough time.

The third largest handset maker is expected to report losses of 4.4bn Krona (290m; $421.3m) during the last three months of the year, compared to profits of 4.6bn in the same period a year ago.

The mobile makers have been hit by a slump in demand for phones, and market saturation in many western European markets.

The economic slowdown - together with delays of new, faster technologies - has stopped many mobile users from upgrading their existing models, and several reports have already suggested that Christmas sales are likely to disappoint.

Mobile internet hopes

In stark contrast to the losses of its rivals, Nokia - which commands about a third of the world's handset market - is expected to stay well out of the red.

The Finnish company is expected to report a pre-tax profits of 1.38bn euros (850m; $1.2bn), proving that it can make money despite the tough times hitting the telecoms sector.

But it has not been immune to the slowdown, and its predicted profits represent a 22% drop over the profits made the previous year.

In December, Nokia said that sales of its new internet phone would lift sales over the Christmas period.

And analysts will be watching closely to see whether sales figures can be interpreted as the end of the sector's gloom.

Customer enthusiasm for these sorts of new technologies will also be crucial to the future outlook of the mobile phone sector.

See also:

31 Dec 01 | Business
UK mobile phone sales slump
07 Nov 01 | Business
Carphone Warehouse keeps growing
12 Dec 01 | Business
Hoping for lower mobile bills?
12 Dec 01 | Business
Picking the right mobile phone
19 Nov 01 | Business
Mobile phone demand declines
19 Nov 01 | Sci/Tech
Nokia opens up its phones
09 Oct 01 | Business
Motorola losses continue
11 Dec 01 | Business
Nokia predicts strong growth
26 Oct 01 | Business
Earnings shock for Ericsson
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