HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia NOK1V.HE, the world’s largest cellphone maker, forecast handset market volumes would grow around 10 percent next year, more than analysts’ 8.6 percent consensus.
Nokia also said on Wednesday its market share would be unchanged in 2010.
“Going into 2010, the overall mobile devices market is stabilizing and it is growing more in the areas where Nokia has competitive advantages,” Nokia’s new finance director Timo Ihamuotila said in a statement.
Nokia forecast its handset unit’s operating profit margin to be 12-14 percent next year, in line with that reached earlier this year, but well below levels above 20 percent seen a few years ago.
Sal. Oppenheim analyst Nicolas Von Stackelberg said while the implied guidance for the top line in devices and services looked slightly better than most people were looking for, “the margin they are guiding for ... I think consensus was probably gravitating towards the higher end of that guidance. So that is a slight negative.”
Nokia’s shares were down 1.0 percent at 8.82 euros at 1200 GMT (noon BST), compared with a 0.6 percent weaker Dow Jones Stoxx European Technology Index .SX8P
Nokia’s closest rival, Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), gave an upbeat forecast for 2009 mobile phone sales earlier this week due to sharp growth in touchscreen models.
Nokia and the rest of the cellphone industry have suffered as consumers cut spending on new gadgets, with the more expensive end of the market seeing increasingly stiff competition.
Editing by Dan Lalor