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HELSINKI, April 27 (Reuters) - Finnish network equipment maker Nokia reported on Thursday a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by cost-cuts, and repeated its forecast for falling network sales in 2017.
First-quarter group earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) fell 1 percent from a year ago to 341 million euros ($372 million) due to drop in spending by telecom operators, but beat analysts' average forecast of 334 million euros in a Reuters poll.
Nokia said it expected sales at its networks unit to decline this year in line with the market, but added that the business momentum was improving.
"We slowed the rate of topline decline and generated healthy orders in what is typically a seasonally weak quarter for us... We saw encouraging stabilization in Mobile Networks topline," Chief Executive Rajeev Suri said in a statement. ($1 = 0.9170 euros) (Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl and Tuomas Forsell in Helsinki, additional reporting by Helena Soderpalm in Stockholm)