Finland’s Nokia, the world’s largest mobile handset manufacturer by sales, said its first quarter profit increased by 21% to EUR1.05 billion (USD1.29 billion), well ahead of analysts’ expectations of about EUR940 million. Sales for the three months ended 31 March 2006 rose 29% to EUR9.5 billion. The company said it had increased quarterly shipments by 40% year-on-year to 75.1 million handsets, corresponding to a market share of 35%, up 3%. It claims its target of 40% market share is within reach. ‘It is still possible to increase market share,’ outgoing chief executive Jorma Ollila said. ‘The share of the five biggest (manufacturers) has increased all the time. Volumes have grown and the products have become increasingly complex, which strengthens the position of the market leader.’ Ollila said the five biggest manufacturers – Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson – controlled 78% of the world market in the first quarter, compared with 68% two years earlier.