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March 26, 1996

NOKIA CONFIDENT OF FUTURE AS IT BECOMES PURE TELECOMMUNICATIONS PLAYER

By CBR Staff Writer

Finnish former conglomerate Nokia Oy, now primarily a telecommunications group says it is putting into place a structure to focus on growth and continue its drive towards a leading position in communications, chief executive Jorma Ollila writes in the annual report, published yesterday. We must be ready to cope with the uncertainties of technological evolution in the cellular markets and the varying growth rates in these markets, he writes. In the near future it will be essential to master the complex interrelationships between consumer behaviour, economic fundamentals and technological developments, he said. I see 1996 as a year for investment in our future … we will now concentrate on sharpening our competitive edge, Ollila wrote. The emergence of new operators and the reorganization of current ones will lead to a fundamental restructuring of the value chain, requiring new levels of competence and support from suppliers, the Nokia chief says. In the rapidly-changing markets technological prowess is important, but understanding the market needs is the key. The Nokia Mobile Phones arm looks for strong growth in cellular markets with digital technology continuing to gain ground. Large markets like China and India will expand rapidly, it says, leading to increased volumes as well as intensified competition in a complex standard environment where digital standards will continue to gain ground. Nokia Mobile Phones president Pekka Ala-Huhta said With the variety of standards, versions and special models needed for each market segment our aim is logistical efficiency and flexibility without loss of economies of scale, he writes. Nokia claims that its 1995 cellular sales in some 120 countries grew faster than the total market. In the mid-1980s, Nokia decided to transform itself from a conglomerate to a three-string electronics player, but it sold the personal computer business it bought from L M Ericsson Telefon AB to ICL Plc, and it just put the consumer electronics business it bought from ITT Corp up for sale.

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