Nokia flips back into profit despite drop in sales

Nokia flips back into profit despite drop in sales due to Covid-19

Visitors gather outside the Nokia booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Credit: Reuters Photo

Finnish telecommunications equipment provider Nokia said Friday it had returned to profit in the second quarter and hiked its 2020 forecasts, despite a drop in sales due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Net profit came in at 94 million euros ($112 million) compared to a loss of 193 million euros during April-June last year.

The result was still far below the analyst consensus of a profit of 142 million euros compiled by Factset.

"Nokia delivered a strong improvement in Q2, with better-than-expected profitability, significant improvement in cash generation, clear indications of a return to strength in mobile radio, and a year-on-year increase in earnings-per-share, despite the challenges of Covid-19.

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Sales fell by 10.6 percent to five billion euros, with Nokia estimating the impact from the coronavirus pandemic at 300 million euros.

"We expect that the majority of sales missed in the quarter due to Covid-19 will shift to future periods," said Suri.

The company managed to increase its operating margin to 8.3 percent from 7.9 percent one year ago, using a method that is not compliant with international accounting rules.

For this year it now aims to increase this measure to 9.5 percent, compared to an earlier forecast of 9.0 percent, with cash flow now clearly positive.

Nokia has faced more difficulties than its competitors Huawei and Ericsson in establishing itself in the market for 5G mobile network equipment.

It reported signing 83 contracts for 5G network equipment.

Sweden's Ericsson said earlier this month it had signed a total of 99 contracts for 5G network equipment.

Nokia's shares shot more than 14 percent higher approaching midday in Helsinki, where the market was up 2.4 percent overall.

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