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(Rafal Gerszak For The Globe and Mail)

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Nokia ekes out profit, but investors still on hold

There have been multiple profit warnings and earnings shortfalls from Nokia over the past two years. So the ailing Finnish handset maker’s desire to rush out some good news on Thursday was just about understandable – even if this resolves few of the fundamental questions which surround the group.

Two weeks ahead of its formal full-year earnings release, Nokia revealed that its core devices and services division made an underlying profit in the fourth quarter. The non-IFRS profit margin there is likely to be between break-even and 2 per cent, it said, with smartphone sales reaching €1.2-billion ($1.57-billion) in the final three months of 2012. Those sales included 4.4 million Windows-based Lumia products.