Nokia expects to exceed 2021 financial guidance

Nokia also provides operating margin guidance for 2022

Nokia has provided an update to its financial guidance for 2021 Tuesday, and a comparable operating margin guidance for 2022.

In Q4 2021 Nokia’s underlying business performed largely as expected. However, other operating income was higher than expected including further benefits from venture fund investments, leading to a stronger comparable operating margin exceeding the 2021 guidance.

Based on preliminary and unaudited financial results for 2021 Nokia now estimates net sales of approximately €22.2bn within its previous guidance of €21.7 to 22.7bn and a comparable operating margin of 12.4 to 12.6% above its previous guidance of 10 to 12%.

The company estimates it has benefited from approximately 150bps of one-offs in financial year 2021 to its comparable operating margin (up from 100bps expected at our Q3 earnings) related to venture fund investments, a one-off software contract in Q2, bad debt provision reversals and some other one-time benefits.

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Updated 2021 guidance based on preliminary and unaudited 2021 financials

 Previous (28 Oct ’21)Updated
Net sales€21.7bn to €22.7bnApprox. €22.2bn
Comparable operating margin10 to 12%12.4 to 12.6%
Free cash flowClearly positiveClearly positive
Comparable ROIC17 to 21%17 to 21%

Nokia 2022 outlook

Nokia is also introducing a new comparable operating margin guidance for financial year 2022 of 11% to 13.5%. This new guidance considers estimated continued improvements in the underlying business, supply constraints and cost inflation, with the year-on-year progression also impacted by the significant one-offs seen in 2021.

The company will release its fourth quarter and full year 2021 financial results on Thursday 3 February 2022 when it will also revisit its longer-term outlook.

Nokia will conduct a conference call with analysts and investors to discuss its fourth quarter performance and business outlook on 3 February 2022 at 11:30am EET / 9:30am BST / 4:30am US EST.