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Nokia profit up, new CEO pledges to boost 5G investments

HELSINKI (AP) — Telecom equipment maker Nokia has reported improved third-quarter earnings largely in line with expectations, but acknowledged it faced challenges in the race for new generation 5G networks. It pledged to invest more in those networks and said it would revamp business strategy under its new CEO.

The Espoo, Finland-based maker of new-generation 5G mobile and other networks said Thursday that net profit for the July-September period was up 14% at 305 million euros ($358 million). Sales were down 7% at 5.3 billion euros.

Nokia’s quarterly report is the first one under new CEO Pekka Lundmark, who took over the company’s top spot on Aug. 1.

He said “more change is needed” within Nokia, which has played catch-up to China’s Huawei and Sweden’s Ericsson in the lucrative 5G market.

“Our financial performance in 2021 is expected to be challenging,” Lundmark said. “We have lost share at one large North American customer, see some margin pressure in that market, and believe we need to further increase R&D investments to ensure leadership in 5G. In fact, we have decided that we will invest whatever it takes to win in 5G.”

Nokia also announced a new strategy, effective Jan. 1, where it will have four business groups consisting of mobile networks, fixed networks, cloud and network services, and the Nokia Technologies unit. Lundmark said Nokia would share details of the new strategy in December.

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