Oct 29 - Nokia predicts a more profitable future for its NSN networks equipment and software unit sending shares up 6%. Sonia Legg reports
Six per cent is today's daily digit in Europe - the amount Nokia shares rose after a positive forecast for its telecom equipment unit. Nokia Solutions and Networks is expecting a profit margin of around 12% in the fourth quarter compared to 8.4% in the third. NSN will be the Finnish company's main business after the sale of its phones division to Microsoft. While its third-quarter operating profit was down 33% on a year earlier there was also slow but steady growth in Lumia smartphone sales. 8.8 million units were sold - almost a fifth more than the same period last year. Basic phone sales were up 4% too. And while the phone division's operating margin was a negative 1.6% the results will give Nokia new hope. Shareholders vote on the Microsoft deal next month. NSN will account for around 90 % of the group's sales once it's completed.