By Dominic Chopping
Nokia Corp. on Thursday posted a forecast-beating fourth-quarter net profit, and said its balance sheet has strengthened to the point that it can reinstate shareholder distributions through both a dividend and share-buyback program.
The company’s comparable net profit for the quarter fell to 727 million euros ($821.1 million) from EUR787 million a year earlier. Sales came in at EUR6.41 billion, it said.
Analysts polled by FactSet had expected comparable net profit of EUR636 million, on sales of EUR6.51 billion.
On a reported basis, Nokia swung to a net profit of EUR676 million from a net loss of EUR2.69 billion a year earlier, it said.
“Nokia enters 2022 in a strong position with improved margins, faster-than-expected strategy execution and a high order backlog, although the global supply-chain situation remains tight,” Chief Executive Pekka Lundmark said.
“We see opportunities in the 5G roll out and growing enterprise market,” Mr. Lundmark added.
Nokia backed 2022 guidance, anticipating an adjusted operating margin of 11% to 13.5%, adding that it expects another year of sales growth.
The company’s long-term target is to grow faster than the market and to achieve a comparable operating margin of at least 14%.
Nokia proposed a EUR0.08 dividend and a share buyback of up to EUR600 million.
Write to Dominic Chopping at email@example.com