By Dominic Chopping
Nokia Corp. on Thursday posted a lower-than-expected first-quarter net profit and cautioned that it is seeing some early signs of the economic environment impacting customer spending.
“Given the ongoing need to invest in 5G and fiber, we see this primarily as a question of timing,” Chief Executive Pekka Lundmark said.
The Finnish telecommunications company said its mobile networks unit delivered 13% sales growth in the quarter, while margins declined due to changes in regional mix. Margins are expected to remain under pressure in the first half of the year before then improving in the second half, it said.
Mobile networks had strong sales growth in Europe, Middle East and Africa, while North America declined and it saw customer inventory depletion in the quarter.
Comparable net profit for the quarter fell to 332 million euros ($363.7 million) from EUR409 million a year earlier as sales rose 9.6% to EUR5.86 billion, it said.
Analysts polled by FactSet had expected comparable net profit of EUR386 million on sales of EUR5.73 billion.
Nokia backed full-year guidance in constant currency.
“We remain on track to deliver another year of growth in 2023 so our outlook is unchanged with the expectation that profitability in the second half of the year will be stronger than the first half,” Mr. Lundmark added.
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