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Nokia: 2004 handset sales up 10%

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HELSINKI, Finland -- Top mobile phone maker Nokia has reported strong demand for mobile phones and networks and repeated that it expected growth of over 10 percent in the handset market this year.

The company said strong demand enabled it to report rising earnings at the top end of forecasts.

Nokia also said it saw January-March pro forma earnings of 0.17 to 0.19 euro per share, compared to 0.18 euro a year ago. Sales were seen up between three and seven percent.

The Finnish firm reported fourth-quarter pro forma earnings per share of 0.29 euro per share, topping the average forecast of 0.28 euro in a Reuters poll of analysts and up from 0.26 euro a year ago.

Nokia said on January 8 that earnings per share would be between 0.28 and 0.29 euro, shattering its previous guidance of 0.21 to 0.23 euro thanks to the strong demand at both its handset and mobile networks units.

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