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Nokia expects strong 2022 as supply crunch eases

HELSINKI (AFP) – Finnish telecoms giant Nokia performed better than expected last year and foresees further growth in 2022 as a supply chain crunch and inflation are set to ease, the network equipment maker said yesterday.

The announcement follows a string of quarterly earnings surprises for the network equipment maker, which last October managed to boost its third quarter profits despite a worldwide shortage of computer chips.

The group largely met expectations with EUR22.2 billion in net sales last year.

But it raised its 2021 operating margin guidance to between 12.4 per cent and 12.6 per cent, up from 10-12 per cent.

The boost was related to venture fund investments, a one-off software contract in the second quarter, “bad debt provision reversals and some other one-time benefits”, the company said in a statement.

An employee holding a Nokia N95 phone. PHOTO: AFP

Nokia now expects an operating margin ranging between 11 per cent and 13.5 per cent in 2022, citing “estimated continued improvements in the underlying business, supply constraints and cost inflation”.

Nokia Chief Executive Pekka Lundmark said last year that the company expects to see a gradual improvement in 2022, though it was not “100 per cent” guaranteed.

Lundmark has been credited with turning around the fortunes of the network giant, which has been flagging in the race with Sweden’s Ericsson and China’s Huawei in the 5G network equipment market.

After taking the helm in mid-2020, Lundmark implemented widespread job cuts, with savings funnelled into developing more competitive technology.