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Nokia Corporation, Resilient performance amidst macro uncertainty-H1 2023

This is a summary of the Nokia Corporation Financial Report for Q2 and Half Year 2023 published today. Nokia only publishes a summary of its financial reports in stock exchange releases. The summary focuses on Nokia Group’s financial information as well as on Nokia’s outlook. The detailed, segment-level discussion will be available in the complete financial report hosted at A video interview summarizing the key points of our Q2 results will also be published on the website. Investors should not solely rely on summaries of Nokia’s financial reports and should also review the complete reports with tables.

Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO, on Q2 2023 Results
In Q2 we delivered stable net sales in constant currency compared to the prior year. As a result of prudent management of our costs, we were able to deliver a solid comparable operating margin of 11.0% despite the regional mix headwinds faced in our Mobile Networks business. Considering the significant decline in major North American operators’ investments, our operating margin has proved resilient, even adjusting for the EUR 80 million of catch-up net sales in Nokia Technologies.

The highlight of the quarter was the new long-term patent license agreement signed with Apple. This is another major milestone in our smartphone license renewal cycle. Our performance in Enterprise was also a highlight with net sales increasing by 27% in constant currency illustrating how well we are executing on this strategic pillar.

Our Network Infrastructure business saw a 6% decline in net sales in constant currency as macro uncertainty impacted the business, particularly in IP Networks which declined 11%. We also saw a decline in Fixed Networks, driven by Fixed Wireless Access and some modest inventory management, nonetheless fiber demand remains robust. In Optical Networks we saw continued strength with 16% growth. Supportive product mix in the quarter along with good cost discipline led to operating margin improving 160bps year-on-year.

Our Mobile Networks business continued to benefit from 5G deployments in India offsetting on-going weakness in North America, delivering 5% net sales growth in constant currency. Gross margin was largely in line with Q1 and continued cost discipline led to an operating margin of 7.9% in Q2.

Cloud and Network Services achieved net sales growth of 2% in constant currency and delivered a 2.2% operating margin in the quarter. We recently announced a strategic partnership with Red Hat for cloud infrastructure, another important milestone on the path to rebalancing the portfolio.

Nokia Technologies’ annual net sales run-rate remained approximately EUR 1.0 billion in Q2 excluding the catch-up benefit. Considering our current base of agreements, we now see that our net sales annual run-rate would be EUR 1.1 billion from January 2024, subject to any other material developments. We remain confident Nokia Technologies will return to an annual run-rate of EUR 1.4-1.5 billion as we work through the smartphone license renewal cycle and grow in new areas.

Earlier in the year I highlighted that we were starting to see signs of macroeconomic challenges along with inventory digestion impacting customer spending and this has intensified through the second quarter. In the second half we expect these trends to continue to impact our business, meaning we now see second half net sales broadly similar to the first half in both Network Infrastructure and Mobile Networks with some sequential improvement visible into Q4.

We have therefore reduced our net sales outlook for 2023 to EUR 23.2 billion to EUR 24.6 billion from the prior EUR 24.6 billion to EUR 26.2 billion. Proactive action by our business groups to manage cost is largely mitigating the impact to our operating margin and hence we only narrow the range to 11.5% to 13.0% from the prior 11.5% to 14.0%.

Looking beyond 2023, in Network Infrastructure we believe these impacts are mostly short-term in nature and that moving forward we see growth opportunities supported by the work we have been doing to diversify our customer base by growing in enterprise and webscale. In Mobile Networks there is still substantial need for operators to invest in 5G globally with only approximately 25% of the potential mid-band 5G base stations so far deployed outside China. We also remain focused on taking the necessary actions to improve our operating margin to double-digit. For the Group we remain committed to achieving at least 14% comparable operating margin longer-term.

Finally, given the strength of our balance sheet and EUR 3.7 billion net cash position I’m confident we have a firm foundation from which to navigate this period of uncertainty. I would like to thank all the Nokia employees for their hard work, cost focus and continued commitment.

CT Bureau

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