Rating agency Standard and Poor’s on Wednesday downgraded Finnish cellphone maker Nokia’s long-term corporate credit rating to BB-, from BB+, citing the likelihood of the company’s deteriorating profitability.
S&P also lowered the issue rating for the group’s unsecured debt — also to a BB- from a previous BB+ rating.
Nokia CFO Timo Ihamuotila said the impact of the rating agency’s decision on Nokia was “limited.”
“As we continue our transition, we are applying a strong focus on cash conservation while simultaneously reducing our operating costs and making our operating model stronger and more agile,” Ihamuotila said in a statement.
The ailing company has been fighting fierce competition from Apple Inc.’s iPhone and other makers using Google Inc.’s popular Android software, including Samsung Electronics Co. and HTC of Taiwan, and is also being squeezed in the low-end by Asian manufacturers making cheaper phones, such as China’s ZTE.
Last month, Nokia reported a 19 percent drop in sales and a net loss of €1.4 billion for the second quarter.
The decision by S&P follows three separate downgrades by rival ratings agency Moody’s since April.
Despite the downgrade Nokia’s share price was up 4 percent at €2.08 ($2.57) in afternoon trading in Helsinki.