Nokia forecasts rocky 2019 due to sporadic 5G demand - Mobile World Live

Nokia forecasts rocky 2019 due to sporadic 5G demand

31 JAN 2019

Nokia predicted a soft start to 2019 before performance picks up in the second half of the year due to growing demand for 5G kit, as it reported a positive set of Q4 2018 results.

In a statement, CEO Rajeev Suri (pictured, below) provided an outlook for 2019, stating it expects performance for the full year to strengthen versus 2018, “and our view of a fast and meaningful shift to 5G remains unchanged”.

“Given that 5G rollouts will be staggered over the course of the year, we expect 2019 to have a soft first half followed by a much more robust second half,” he said.

The company added that demand for its 5G technology will fuel gains for the next two years, although it warned of a “particularly weak Q1” for 2019 due to the staggered nature of 5G rollouts in lead countries.

Numbers
For Q4 2018, however, Nokia followed major rival Ericsson in reporting some positive numbers, which was no doubt welcome following an industry slowdown in recent years as 4G sales peaked.

Nokia’s revenue for the quarter totalled €6.9 billion, up 3 per cent from €6.7 billion in Q4 2017, which was attributed to “strong 5G customer engagement in all key markets”.

Its main Networks business grew revenue 7 per cent year-on-year to €6.2 billion, led by a 21 per cent increase in North America and a strong order backlog for 5G equipment.

Nokia noted improved profitability in its Technologies division. Operating profit for the period was up 12 per cent to €1.1 billion, also helped by its software and enterprise business.

New reporting structure, leadership additions
In other developments, Nokia announced plans to revise its financial reporting structure. As of Q1 2019, the company said it will have three reportable segments; Networks; Nokia Software; and Nokia Technologies, for which it will disclose detailed financials including net sales and operating profit.

Elsewhere, president of mobile networks Tommi Uitto and president of fixed networks Sandra Motley have also been appointed to the company’s group leadership team.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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