Nokia’s profit down 90%

Chicago (IL) – Dropping demand for mobile phones brought Nokia a 90% decline in earnings during the first quarter of the year. Net profit was just $161 million, compared to about $1.6 billion in Q1 of 2008.

Nokia said it sold 93 million cellphones during the quarter, down 19% from 115 million in the same period last year. Revenue from handset sales fell 33% to $8.17 billion. Overall company sales dropped from $16.8 billion to about $12.2 billion.

Nokia shares were up 10.25% early Thursday as investors had expected even worse news from Nokia.

Last month, market research firm iSuppli reported that Nokia had pulled its entire phone assembly business valued at about $5 billion annually from contract manufacturers and now assembles all of its devices in-house.

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