Nokia’s Quarterly Profit Beats Expectations

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Nokia on Thursday reported quarterly operating profit above market expectations as the Finnish telecom equipment maker benefited from roll out 5G in countries such as India and forecast an upbeat 2023.

Fourth-quarter comparable operating profit rose to 1.15 billion euros ($1.26 billion) from 908 million last year, beating the 924.6 million euro mean forecast of 10 analysts polled by Refinitiv.

“Looking forward to 2023, while we are mindful of the uncertain economic outlook, demand remains robust,” Chief Executive Pekka Lundmark said in a statement.

Nokia forecast full year net sales of between 24.9 billion euros and 26.5 billion euros, which implies between 2% and 8% growth in constant currency. Analysts expect 25.5 billion euros.

Net sales grew 16% in the quarter to 7.45 billion euros, beating estimates of 7.11 billion.

Apart from growing demand from business customers, the company also got big contracts from Indian telecom operators for the launch of 5G in that country.

In contrast, rival Ericsson had reported lower than expected fourth-quarter core earnings citing weak sales of 5G equipment in markets such as the United States.

($1 = 0.9160 euros)

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm, editing by Terje Solsvik)