Nokia (NYSE:NOK) reported growing sales in the third quarter, thanks in part to booming business in its Network unit, which was driven by a strong performance in North America. The company reported its first year-over-year growth in quarterly revenue since the first quarter of 2011.
The results indicate that Nokia can be a growing, profitable company after shedding its devices and services business, which it offloaded to Microsoft in April for around $7.2 billion.
In the third quarter Nokia said total sales increased 13 percent to around $4.18 billion (€3.3 billion), up from $3.67 billion (€2.9 billion) in the year-ago quarter and higher than analysts' estimates of around $3.8 billion, according to Bloomberg. Nokia reported a net profit of around $946 million, compared to a loss of around $115 million in the year-ago period, though the company was aided by a large tax gain in the quarter.
Nokia Networks, the company's main business, reported a 13 percent jump in sales year-over-year for the quarter, up to $3.67 billion. In the third quarter, Mobile Broadband represented 57 percent of Nokia Networks' sales, compared to 49 percent in the third quarter of 2013. Global Services represented 43 percent of the network unit's revenue, compared to 51 percent in the year-ago period.
Mobile Broadband sales grew 33 percent year-over-year, primarily due to strong net sales growth in LTE and core networks. However, Global Services sales slipped 5 percent in the third quarter, largely because of a reduction in network implementation activity, maintenance services and managed services, Nokia said.
North America was a driving force behind Nokia's strong performance, as sales in the region soared 53 percent from the year-ago period, primarily due to "a new LTE network deployment at a major customer."
"We've initiated the Sprint project and that was part of the third-quarter bump," Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri said in an interview with Bloomberg. "Rollout will continue along with our other customer T-Mobile."
Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Samsung are providing 8T8R radios for Sprint's (NYSE: S) tri-band Spark LTE service. Nokia is also helping T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) enhance its LTE network and implement carrier aggregation.
In Greater China, Nokia said net sales increased 38 percent in the quarter, primarily due to the higher levels of LTE network deployments in both China and Taiwan. In Europe, net sales increased by 9 percent largely because of network deployments in Eastern Europe.
Nokia said its HERE location and mapping business saw sales grow 12 percent year-over-year to around $299 million. The company recently started rolling out its HERE service to smartphones running Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android platform. HERE sold map data licenses for the embedded navigation systems of 3.2 million new vehicles globally in the quarter, compared to 2.6 million vehicles in the year-ago period.
Nokia Technologies, the company's patent-licensing and technology business, saw its sales grow 9 percent from the year-ago quarter to around $193 million, primarily due to Microsoft becoming a more significant intellectual property licensee.
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