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Euronews: Nokia Devices Still on the Slide

Nokia Corp., Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and KPN Telecom NV loom large in today's trawl of the EMEA headlines.
  • Nokia claimed underlying profitability for the third consecutive quarter in its first-quarter results, but sales of devices, both smart and not-so-smart, continue to head south. Operating profits -- measured under non-IFRS criteria -- reached €181 million (US$236 million), compared with a loss of €258 million ($336 million) for the same period last year. Despite a healthy 27 percent quarter-on-quarter increase in sales of the top-of-the-range Lumia models, sales of smart devices generally were down 49 percent year-on-year at 6.1 million units. The results come as speculation intensified that Nokia is planning to launch a "phablet" device that would go head-to-head with Samsung Corp.'s Galaxy Note.
  • Huawei says it intends to hire 5,500 people in Europe over the next four to five years, reports Business Week -- plans that contrast sharply with homegrown vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson AB, who are cutting staff numbers. Earlier this month the Chinese giant predicted an annual global growth rate of 10 percent over the next five years. (See Euronews: EC Pushes for Huawei/ZTE Probe and Huawei Expects Relentless Growth.)
  • Neelie Kroes, the European Commission's vice president for the Digital Agenda, wants to get things moving on her plans for a single European telecom market, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). To this end, a blueprint for the project now looks set to be published in June, several months ahead of the original fall deadline. Could a central European telecom regulator be on the horizon? (See Euronews: 'Single Market' Plan Rolls Into Action.)
  • Dutch incumbent KPN has formed a "platform partnership" with Tibbr, which describes itself as an "enterprise social network" that "connects people, processes, and new and existing business applications in a relevant and personal way." Tibbr will run on KPN's Grip platform.
  • The owners of French cable company Numericable have invited around ten banks to submit proposals in May for a possible IPO later in the year, reports Reuters. Earlier this year the head of Numericable floated the possibility of a tie-up with struggling mobile operator SFR. — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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