“Nokia Corp., the world’s top mobile phone maker, said Thursday its profits fell 69 percent in the fourth quarter as the world economic downturn slowed handset sales,” matti Huuhtanen and Karl Ritter report for The Associated Press.

“Net profit was euro576 million ($743.62 million), down from euro1.84 billion in the same period in 2007,” Huuhtanen and Ritter report. “Sales dropped 19.5 percent to euro12.7 billion ($16.4 billion), from euro15.8 billion.”

“The results came in below expectations, sending Nokia shares down 4 percent in Helsinki to euro9.82 ($12.68),” Huuhtanen and Karl Ritter report.

“The Finnish company gave a bleak outlook for the industry, saying it expects global mobile device volumes to drop 10 percent in 2009 compared to last year,” Huuhtanen and Karl Ritter report. “Last month, it predicted a 5-percent decrease.”

“‘From an operational and structural perspective Nokia is still in a very good position,’ said Neil Mawston, a telecom analyst at Strategy Analytics in London. ‘It has a very efficient very effective supply chain,'” Huuhtanen and Karl Ritter report. “He added, however, that Nokia’s product portfolio is ‘looking relatively weak,’ especially in smart phones, where it is losing ground to Apple Inc.”

Full article here.