By Watchdog reporter

Finland’s telecom equipment maker Nokia has suffered a net loss of 513 million euros in the first quarter, the firm said on Tuesday.
This is the first income pronouncement since the company acquired its French-American rival Alcatel-Lucent.

The group’s sales fell by eight percent in its main network equipment business, but Nokia highlighted in a statement its operating margin increased by 1.7 points to 6.2 percent.

In comparable figures, the company’s global revenue fell by 9 percent to 5.60 billion euros ($6.37 billion).

Nokia’s business of ultrafast networks suffered the most significant decline of 20 percent, “consistent with our outlook for a greater than normal seasonal decline in the wireless infrastructure market”, the company explained.

Nokia said it now possessed 94.64 percent of Alcatel-Lucent’s shares, approaching the limit of 95 percent which would allow it to squeeze out the remaining five percent of owners, and gain full control of its former rival.

Nokia, which now concentrates on network equipment after failing to adapt to the rapid rise of smartphones.