Nokia profit soars on buoyant sales for 5G technology


FILE — In this Feb. 11, 2008 file picture, general manager of the Nokia factory in Romania, John Guerry, casts a shadow on a banner at the new Nokia factory in Jucu, central Romania, during the official opening of the first production line. Nokia says it has been tapped by NASA to build the first cellular communications network on the Moon. The Finnish technology giant said Monday, Oct. 19, 2020 its Nokia Bell Labs’ division will build a 4G communications system to be deployed on a lunar lander to the Moon’s surface in late 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)

HELSINKI (AP) — Wireless network maker Nokia on Thursday reported substantially improved, better than expected first-quarter profit on buoyant sales of its new generation 5G equipment.

The company based in Espoo, Finland, reported net profit of 375 million euros ($454 million) for the January-March period, up from 33 million euros a year earlier. Sales were up 3%, to 5.1 billion euros.

CEO Pekka Lundmark said the figures “delivered a robust start to the year” for Nokia, which is seeking to become a global leader in 5G technology in a tight race with Nordic competitor Ericsson, China’s Huawei and South Korea’s Samsung, among others.

“Today’s results demonstrate that we are on track to deliver on our three-phased plan to achieve sustainable, profitable growth and technology leadership as announced,” Lundmark said in a statement.

Nokia said the company’s operations were driven in the quarter by strong growth in sales for 5G networks and equipment, particularly in the U.S and Chinese markets.

Under the leadership of Lundmark, who took over the company’s top job last year, Nokia has revamped its business strategy. He has said that Nokia aims to become the world leader in 5G – the new generation of broadband technology – even if it means sacrificing short-term profitability.

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