Buoyant Nokia expects to raise 2021 guidance

Comms tech provider says positive news likely in forthcoming Q2 results and despite some headwinds in the second half, it has good foundation for the full year

When he announced Nokia’s first-quarter 2021 results in April, company CEO and president Pekka Lundmark proclaimed a robust start to the year that represented a good foundation for achieving the higher end of margin expectations – and now it seems such targets will be more than achieved.

In an update to its financial guidance for the full year of 2021, Nokia has revealed that before the end of its second quarter, it has seen continued strength in the business, improving its expectations for the full year. It now expects to revise upwards its previous outlook ranges for 2021.

“We are progressing well with our three-phased plan to achieve sustainable, profitable growth and technology leadership laid out at our Capital Markets Day in March,” said Lundmark. “Our first-half performance has shown evidence of this in good cost control and also benefited from strength in a number of our end markets. We continue to expect some headwinds in the second half as we have previously highlighted, but our performance in the first half provides a good foundation for the full year.”

The first half has seen a number of highlights for Nokia. After ending the first quarter of 2021 by signing technology agreements with leading cloud providers Google, Microsoft Azure and AWS to research and enable cloud radio access network (vRAN) and Open RAN (O-RAN) technologies, market-ready 4G and 5G private wireless use cases and cloud-based 5G radio systems, the company began the second half making strong progress in communications technology for 5G and fibre networks.

Standouts in these areas were June’s announcement that with Qualcomm Technologies and UScellular, it had achieved a world record extended range of more than 10km using 5G mmWave technology on a commercial network. In the fixed environment, it also claimed a first, working with Proximus to accelerate build-out of the world’s fastest live fibre network with the deployment of 25G PON technology running on the same infrastructure currently used by the Belgian operator.

And just days ago, German industrial robot manufacturer KUKA turned to Nokia for 5G private wireless systems to deliver reliable connectivity in the development of intelligent automation in an industrial 5G SA private wireless network.

Nokia plans to provide full details of its second-quarter and half-year financial performance and revised full-year 2021 guidance on 29 July.

In further financial news, on 7 July, a total of 162,751 Nokia shares held by the company were transferred without consideration to participants of the company’s equity-based incentive plans, in accordance with the rules of its stated plans. The transfer is said to be based on the resolution of the board of directors to issue shares held by the company to settle its commitments to participants of the plans as announced on 4 February 2021. The number of own shares held by Nokia Corporation following the transfer is 34,458,896.

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