Although Finland-based Nokia managed to reduce its first quarter net loss to 272 million euro ($357 million) from a loss of 928 million euro a year earlier, mainly thanks to cost cutting, net revenue dropped to 5.8 billion euro from 7.4 billion euro in the same period last year.

Mobile phone sales volumes fell across the globe, especially in China, which saw a 60 per cent drop. Sales of smartphone devices dropped 32 per cent globally to 1.1 billion euro. Nokia lost its dominant position in the smartphone market when its Symbian operating system failed to keep up with the likes of Apple.

The company had hoped to remedy that by launching several Lumia phones based on the Windows operating system.

Although sales of Lumia phones grew 27 per cent in the first quarter, total figures for mobile phones dropped by more than 30 per cent to 1.59 billion euro. The company is also being squeezed in the low-end “feature phone” market by Asian manufacturers making cheaper phones.

CEO Stephen Elop said he was pleased that Nokia “achieved underlying operating profitability for the third quarter in a row” but conceded that the company faced a “difficult competitive environment” in mobile phones.

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