Nokia names Suri as CEO; to return €3.1B to investors; swings to profit

|About: Nokia Corporation (NOK)|By:, SA News Editor

As expected, Nokia (NOK) has appointed networks boss Rajeev Suri as CEO, and the company said it plans to return over €3.1B ($4.15B) to shareholders using the cash from the sale of its handset business to Microsoft.

The firm also said that excluding the operations sold to Microsoft, it swung to a net profit of €108M from a loss of €98M a year earlier. Sales tumbled 15% to €2.66B and missed consensus of €2.85B. Revenue at the network unit dropped 17% to €2.33B, hurt by lower services sales, currency fluctuations and divestments. (PR)

Suri will replace Nokia Chairman Risto Siilasmaa, who has served as interim CEO since the announcement of the Microsoft deal in September. As head of Nokia Solutions & Networks, Suri is credited with returning it to profitability.

Nokia intends to pay dividends of €1.8B, comprised of at least €800M in ordinary dividends for 2013 and 2014 of €0.11 a share and possibly more for this year, and a €1B special dividend of €0.26 a share. The company intends to repurchase €1.25B in shares over two years as well.

Nokia will cut interest-bearing debt by €2B by 2016 as part of a plan to get back its investment-grade credit rating. The plan should save €100M a year in interest. (PR)