Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark (pictured) credited India 5G sales and growth in European market share for offsetting a softening in North America at its mobile networks unit in Q1, though noted signs economic issues were impacting customer spend more widely.

In a statement accompanying its Q1 results, the executive said India’s 5G deployments helped deliver a 13 per cent year-on-year increase in net sales within its mobile networks business, which reached €2.6 billion.

Although overall sales were up, operating profit for the segment was down as margins dropped. He noted in North America there had been an “anticipated softening”.

“As we expected, we are seeing greater seasonality between the first and second half of the year in terms of profitability for mobile networks,” Lundmark noted.

Outside mobile networks, the vendor reported a drop in revenue from Nokia Technologies, which includes its IP business, and a “negative impact” from venture fund investments.

Revenue across the company was €5.9 billion, up 10 per cent, with net profit €342 million, down 18 per cent on Q1 2022.

“Looking forward, we are starting to see some signs of the economic environment impacting customer spending,” Lundmark said. “Given the ongoing need to invest in 5G and fibre, we see this primarily as a question of timing: nevertheless we will maintain our cost discipline to ensure we can successfully navigate this uncertainty.”

He added the company was “on track to deliver another year of growth in 2023”, with its outlook unchanged and an expectation of stronger profitability in H2 compared to the first part of the year.