Nokia: sales are up but profits are dropping

Gloomy outlook for 2011 too

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Nokia has revealed its financial results for the last quarter of 2010, and it's not looking too rosy for the Finnish phone manufacturer.

Although sales increased in 2010 compared to 2009, the company's operating profits fell by 9 per cent for the entirety of the year, with a 22 per cent drop in Q4 profits compared to 2009.

Sales of regular mobile phones fell by 5 per cent but smartphone devices more than made up for the dip with a 13 per cent increase in sales year on year, thanks in part to recent high-profile launches like the Nokia N8 and Nokia C7.

Faster changes ahead

Stephen Elop, Nokia's CEO, admitted that Nokia is facing a tough year: "Nokia faces some significant challenges in our competitiveness and our execution. In short, the industry changed, and now it's time for Nokia to change faster."

Some might say it was time for Nokia to change faster about, say, three years ago when the iPhone was launched, but hey, better late than never.

Nokia is forecasting a weak start to its year, with estimated sales well over a billion Euros lower than Q4 2010's €8.5bn performance.

On the plus side, Nokia reckons the affordable C3 helped it become the leader in QWERTY devices during the fourth quarter of 2010. BlackBerry might have something to say about that, but we suppose that Nokia needs to take the good news where it can find it.