Nokia CEO calls for end to speculation
Nokia’s chief executive says speculation regarding his future is harming the firm’s chances of recovery, after a dire second quarter when profits dived.
Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo told CNBC that rumors the vendor is looking to replace him were “not good for Nokia and must be brought to an end.”
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that Nokia was looking for an outsider to head up the embattled handset firm. Kallasvuo said he would not comment on his position at the company
Nokia revealed that profits had fallen from €287 million to €104 million year-on-year in 2Q, with sales flat at €10.0 billion ($12.9b).
The result followed two profit warnings as the Finnish firm has battled to find a smartphone to compete against Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android range.
Revenue in the devices and services group was up just 3%, despite an 8% rise in shipments to 111.1 million units. The average selling price (ASP) of €61 was down from €62 in the previous quarter and €64 a year ago.
Kallasvuo said shipments were boosted by high demand in emerging markets where Nokia remains a strong player, adding that forthcoming Symbian ^3 smartphones would “kickstart Nokia’s fightback at the higher end of the market.”
He admitted on CNBC that delays in rewriting the Symbian code – the biggest software project in Nokia’s history – had been “disappointing.”
He said the company had maintained its share of the smartphone market, but it was “very clear that we are lacking the high-end workhorse.”
Nokia expects its share of the mobile device market to decline over the full year compared with 2009, but to maintain its share of shipments.
Vendor JV Nokia Siemens Networks blamed delays in closing deals in India because of security issues and industry-wide component shortages for a 5% drop in sales to €3 billion.
The division reduced its losses from €188 million in 2Q09 to €179 million.
Losses at its Navteq division were also down, falling from €100 million to €81 million in 2Q10.
The firm forecast net sales at its devices group in 3Q will be in the range of €6.7- €7.2 billion, with Nokia Siemens Networks tipped to hit €2.7-€3.1 billion.
Nokia’s NYSE stock rose 3.97% overnight in the general recovery in tech stocks, and lifted 0.22% in after-hours trading to 9.19.