Nokia lifts full-year forecast as turnaround takes root


FILE PHOTO: The logo of Nokia is seen at the Nokia Paris-Saclay campus in Nozay, near Paris, France, June 30, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

HELSINKI (Reuters) -Telecom equipment maker Nokia reported a stronger-than-expected second-quarter operating profit on Thursday and raised its full-year outlook as promised, thanks to a turnaround of its business.

The Finnish company's April-June comparable operating profit rose to 682 million euros ($808.51 million) from 423 million euros a year earlier, beating the 408-million euro mean estimate in a Refinitiv poll of analysts.

Shifting geopolitics and a sharp round of cost cutting have put Nokia firmly back in the global 5G rollout race just a year after CEO Pekka Lundmark took the reins, allowing it to gain ground on Swedish arch-rival Ericsson.

"We have executed faster than planned on our strategy in the first half which provides us with a good foundation for the full year," Lundmark said in a statement on Thursday, but added that Nokia still expects the 2021 second-half results to be less pronounced.

Nokia said it now expects full-year net sales of 21.7 billion-22.7 billion euros, up from its prior estimate of 20.6 billion-21.8 billion euros, with an operating profit margin of 10-12% instead of the 7% to 10% expected previously.

The company had announced on July 13 that it would raise its outlook, but did not provide any details.

($1 = 0.8435 euros)

(Reporting by Essi Lehto; editing by Terje Solsvik and Sriraj Kaluvila)

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