Nokia beats own estimates with fourth quarter figures

8 Jan 2004

Nokia has exceeded its sales and profit guidance for the fourth quarter of 2003, ahead of issuing its Q4 and annual results later this month.

Mobile phone sales in the quarter rose to almost €7bn, a 4pc year-on-year increase and better than the company’s previous guidance which suggested sales would be flat. The company attributed this improvement to better than expected market development. This factor, along with a favourable product mix, allowed the mobile phone division’s operating margin to continue at the rate of between 24 and 25pc for the quarter.

The company shipped 55.3 million units during the three-month period.

Nokia Networks’ sales in the fourth quarter were also significantly higher than estimated and reached approximately €1.7bn, up from the previously expected amount of €1.4bn.

Total Nokia Group sales in the fourth quarter were approximately €8.8bn, about the same level as in the previous year. The company now estimates that fourth quarter 2003 pro forma earnings per share (EPS) will be 0.28 – 0.29 cent diluted, as against the pro forma EPS diluted guidance of 0.21 – 0.23 cent.

I’m pleased to report that Nokia achieved excellent fourth quarter results”, said Jorma Ollila, chairman and CEO of Nokia, called the results “excellent”, adding that the strong seasonal development in both Nokia Mobile Phones and Nokia Networks exceeded the company’s own expectations. “High volumes and an excellent mix in Nokia Mobile Phones delivered healthy sales and an average selling price that was up sequentially. Nokia Networks results were impacted by stronger than expected year-end operator investments and product mix which resulted in much stronger than expected sales and stronger than expected operating profits.”

Nokia will report the fourth quarter and the full year 2003 on 22 January.

By Gordon Smith