(Telecompaper) Nokia returned to a net profit in the fourth quarter, helped by a gradual improvement in sales of its mobile phones and cost reductions. EPS came in at EUR 0.05, versus a loss of EUR 0.29 a year earlier, and adjusted operating profit rose 33 percent year-on-year to EUR 635 million. Sales were still down 20 percent to EUR 8.04 billion, but improved 11 percent compared to the third quarter. Its core Devices & Services division showed a similar picture, with revenues down 36 percent year-on-year but 8 percent higher sequentially at EUR 3.85 billion. Adjusted operating profit at the division plunged 82 percent from a year ago to EUR 52 million, and the margin fell to 1.3 percent from 4.9 percent, but this was better than the company's guidance of minus 6 percent, plus or minus four percentage points. For the seasonally weaker first quarter, Nokia forecast a margin of negative 2 percent, plus or minus four points. Nokia said it will not pay a dividend for 2012, in order to maintain a strong balance sheet. It finished 2012 with EUR 9.9 billion in cash.
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