Nokia beats market expectations in third quarter

Henrik Kettunen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Finland's Nokia on Thursday reported stronger-than-expected profitability at its core networks business in the third quarter and raised the unit's full-year outlook on the back of major network roll-outs in North America and China.

The network unit showed a core operating profit margin of 13.5 percent, up from 11.0 percent in the second quarter and topping analysts' average expectation of 9.9 percent in Reuters poll.

Nokia said it now expects the networks unit's full-year operating margin to be slightly above 11 percent, compared with its previous forecast of at or slightly above the higher end of a range of 5 to 10 percent.

Nokia's total underlying operating profit for the July-September period rose as much as 32 percent from the previous quarter to 457 million euros ($578 million). Analysts had expected an operating profit of 359 million euros.

Nokia in April closed the deal to sell its former flagship phone business to Microsoft, leaving it with the network equipment unit, navigation technology business and a smartphone patent portfolio.