Vertu struggles to keep up with high demand

The luxury unit of top mobile handset maker Nokia, Vertu, has seen strong demand this year and is struggling to increase production to keep up, according to a Reuters report.

The report quoted Chris Harris, Vertu's marketing director, as saying that "at the moment, we cannot meet demand."

 "Sales are more than doubling this year. We hope that pace will continue also next year," Harris told Reuters.

Vertu targeted wealthy customers by producing very costly mobile phones made from platinum, gold and diamonds, the report said.

Harris also said Vertu's new mobile phone model would hit the shops next month and was expected to boost sales.

Vertu did not reveal separate financial details, and its numbers were included in those of Nokia's Mobile Phones unit, the report said.

While analysts expected Nokia to sell about 330 million phones this year at an average of around 100 euros apiece, Vertu sold "tens of thousands" of phones at prices topping 4,000 euros, Harris said.

Vertu had been reaping the rewards of a global economy, enjoying growth rates well above the average for recent decades, but there were signs that the expansion might be slowing, particularly in the key US consumer market, the report further said.