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Nokia reports drop in mobile sales ahead of Microsoft handover
Its mobile handsets have experienced a spectacular fall in sales since the arrival of Apple's iPhone in 2007.
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HELSINKI - Nokia announced falling mobile phone sales and lower profits on Thursday in its last financial report before handing its mobile phone business over to Microsoft.

The former world leader's sales of mobile devices dropped 29 per cent in 2013 compared to the outcome the previous year.

Nokia's overall year-on-year sales, not including the handset business, fell 17 per cent to 12.7 billion euros (S$22.12 billion).

Nokia's telecom services business, a former joint venture with Siemens known as NSN - which will now be the company's mainstay - reported an 18-per cent decline in sales to 11.3 billion euros in 2013.

However, NSN managed to turn a 795-million-euro operating loss in 2012 into an operating profit of 420 million euros in 2013.

The company's interim chief executive, Risto Siilasmaa, described the end of 2013 as a "watershed moment in Nokia's history" referring to the November decision by shareholders to sell the handheld business to the US tech giant Microsoft for 5.44 billion euros.

The deal, concluded in November, marked the end of the once iconic Nokia branded mobile handsets, which have experienced a spectacular fall in sales since the arrival of Apple's touchscreen iPhone in 2007.

"I am pleased with the progress we have made thus far in our strategy evaluation and excited by the opportunities ahead," Siilasmaa said in a statement, which added that the new slimmed-down company was "more focused, more innovative and more disciplined."

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