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Nokia hits profit target as handset business reaches final closure point

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While Nokia is no longer making or schilling smartphones and cell phones, after selling that unit to Microsoft earlier this year, business isn't hurting too much.

In its earnings report on Thursday, the company reported a 13 percent increase in revenue for the third quarter.

"Nokia's third-quarter results demonstrate our strong position in a world where technology is undergoing significant change," said Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri in a statement.

Nokia's net profit during the third quarter was around $941 million, which is far better than the $115 million loss the company reported in the second quarter last year. Total revenue jumped to $4.2 billion, much higher than the expected $3.82 billion.

The company has undergone great change since selling its handset business to Microsoft for a whopping $7.2 billion and the move is starting to pay off. All three Nokia businesses, including Networks, Here and Technologies, are enjoying sales growth.

Nokia Networks experienced a 13 percent annual growth rate, jumping to $3.7 billion in 2014 from $3.29 billion in 2013. The Nokia Here mapping service hit a total of $299 million in the third quarter, largely due to increasing license sales of map data for navigation systems in 3.2 million new cars.

"Performance at Nokia Networks was particularly satisfying, with both growth and improved profitability," continued Suri. "...That said, I also want to be clear that Networks benefited from some unique developments in the quarter, with a business mix weighted towards Mobile Broadband and regional mix that included strong gains in North America."

Nokia Technologies also managed to hold its own, reporting a 9 percent growth in net sales, reaching $192 million largely due to the fact that Microsoft is a significant intellectual property licensee.

"Nokia Technologies continued to invest in the innovation and business infrastructure necessary to enable future growth and renewal of our strong patent portfolio," Suri said. "This work, as well as our current licensing activities, will take time to come to fruition, but I believe that we are moving rapidly in the right direction."

Microsoft just announced this past week it's not keeping the Nokia branding, though it initially stated it would use the brand name for year. Nokia-made phones will now be known "Microsoft Lumia" phones. It is expected Nokia may re-enter the smartphone business as soon as it is able, perhaps opting to release Android phones rather than Windows-based phones.

In a separate announcement the company said that it was appointing Sean Fernback as the new president of the Here unit, Nokia's mapping unit and offline navigation app.

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