Typography

Nokia Corporation has posted its financial report for Q4 and full year 2018. The complete financial report for Q4 and full year 2018 with tables is available at www.nokia.com/financials. Investors should not rely on summaries of our financial reports only, but should review the complete financial reports with tables.

RAJEEV SURI, PRESIDENT AND CEO, ON Q4 2018 RESULTS

Nokia ended the year with a strong fourth quarter. We saw the second consecutive quarter of year-on-year sales growth across all five of our Networks business groups, as well as improved profitability in both Networks and Nokia Technologies. The execution of our strategy also proceeded well, with the work we have put into building a solid foundation for Nokia Software showing clear results and our enterprise business rapidly becoming a pillar of growth.

Looking forward, I expect Nokia's performance to strengthen for the full year 2019 versus 2018 and our view of a fast and meaningful shift to 5G remains unchanged. Given that 5G rollouts will be staggered over the course of the year, we expect 2019 to have a soft first half followed by a much more robust second half.

Over the longer-term, we expect a virtuous cycle of investment, where operators update their networks across multiple domains - from optical to macro radio, fixed wireless access to cloud core, small cells to IP routing, network agnostic software and more. Following this, we expect a second wave where industrial customers will invest in private wireless technology including LTE and 5G-ready networks. With our end-to-end portfolio, Nokia is well-positioned to tap this extended cycle.



Q4 and January-December 2018 reported and non-IFRS results. Refer to note 1, "Basis of Preparation", note 2, "Non-IFRS to reported reconciliation" and note 15, "Performance measures", in the "Financial statement information" section for details.

EUR million (except for EPS in EUR)

Q4'18

Q4'17

YoY change

Constant currency YoY change

Q1-Q4'18

Q1-Q4'17

YoY change

Constant currency YoY change

Net sales

6 869

6 651

3%

3%

22 563

23 147

(3)%

1%

Operating profit/(loss)

552

419

32%

 

(59)

16

 

 

Operating margin %

8.0%

6.3%

170bps

 

(0.3)%

0.1%

(40)bps

 

EPS, diluted

0.03

(0.07)

 

 

(0.10)

(0.26)

 

 

Operating profit/(loss) (non-IFRS)

1 120

1 004

12%

 

2 180

2 587

(16)%

 

Operating margin % (non-IFRS)

16.3%

15.1%

120bps

 

9.7%

11.1%

(140)bps

 

EPS, diluted (non-IFRS)

0.13

0.13

0%

 

0.23

0.33

(30)%

 

Net cash and current financial investments

3 051

4 514

(32)%

 

3 051

4 514

(32)%

 

Net sales in Q4 2018 were EUR 6.9bn, compared to EUR 6.7bn in Q4 2017. Net sales grew by 3% year-on-year, on both a reported and constant currency basis. Our robust top-line performance reflects the strong competitiveness across our portfolio and that our strategy execution is tracking well. We maintained good momentum, with strong 5G customer engagement in all key markets, particularly strong performance in Nokia Software and solid performance in our enterprise business.

Non-IFRS diluted EPS in Q4 2018 was EUR 0.13, compared to EUR 0.13 in Q4 2017. Particularly strong execution in Q4 enabled us to achieve our full year 2018 operational guidance, with year-on-year operating profit growth in Networks, as well as in Nokia Technologies on a recurring basis. Non-IFRS diluted EPS increased by EUR 0.02 year-on-year on a recurring basis, driven by our gross profit performance and continued operating expense reduction, partially offset by foreign exchange hedging and higher income tax expenses.

Reported diluted EPS in Q4 2018 was EUR 0.03, compared to negative EUR 0.07 in Q4 2017, primarily driven by lower income tax expenses and our gross profit performance, partially offset by lower one-time licensing net sales, foreign exchange hedging and higher financial expenses.

In Q4 2018, net cash and current financial investments increased sequentially by approximately EUR 1.2bn and we ended 2018 with a strong financial position. In Q4 2018, net cash from operating activities benefitted from strong seasonality and positive changes in net working capital. Consequently, recurring free cash flow for full year 2018 was slightly negative.

ANNUAL DISTRIBUTION TO SHAREHOLDERS

The dividend to shareholders is Nokia's principal method of distributing earnings to shareholders. Over the long term, Nokia targets to deliver an earnings-based growing dividend by distributing approximately 40% to 70% of non-IFRS diluted EPS, taking into account Nokia's cash position and expected cash flow generation. Beginning with the distribution for 2018, Nokia plans to pay dividends in quarterly installments. In addition, Nokia intends to implement a dividend fee for American Depository Receipt (ADR) holders.

For 2018, Nokia's Board of Directors plans to propose that the Annual General Meeting in 2019 authorizes the Board to resolve on the maximum annual distribution of EUR 0.20 per share, compared to EUR 0.19 for 2017, to be paid quarterly during the authorization period, unless the Board decides otherwise for a justified reason. The Board would make separate resolutions on each distribution and such resolutions would be separately disclosed following the Annual General Meeting 2019 and in connection with our financial reports for Q2, Q3 and Q4. The annual distribution would be paid as quarterly dividends from retained earnings and/or assets from the fund for invested unrestricted equity.

At the end of 2018, the distributable funds on the statement of financial position of the parent company amounted to EUR 17 393 million, including EUR 15 197 million of invested unrestricted equity. The Board proposal to the Annual General Meeting will be published in connection with other proposals later in the spring.

NEW FINANCIAL REPORTING STRUCTURE BEGINNING Q1 2019

Nokia announced organizational changes to accelerate its strategy execution on October 25, November 22 and December 31, 2018. Nokia will revise its financial reporting structure to better reflect its strategy, organizational structure and the way it evaluates operational performance and allocates resources. As of the first quarter 2019, Nokia will have three reportable segments: (i) Networks, (ii) Nokia Software and (iii) Nokia Technologies. In addition, Nokia will disclose segment-level data for Group Common and Other.

For each reportable segment, Nokia will provide detailed financial disclosure, including net sales and operating profit. Additionally, Nokia will provide adjusted financial disclosure for its Networks and Nokia Software reportable segments, with amounts related to Nokia Technologies and Nokia Bell Labs allocated 85% to Networks and 15% to Nokia Software. This is also in accordance with industry practice and improves comparability with peer companies.

In addition, Nokia will provide net sales disclosure for the following businesses: (i) Mobile Access, (ii) Fixed Access, (iii) IP Routing and (iv) Optical Networks, which together comprise the new Networks reportable segment. Nokia will also provide separate net sales disclosure for its different customer types: (i) Communication Service Providers, (ii) Enterprises and (iii) Licensees. Net sales by region will be provided at the Nokia level.

To provide a basis for comparison, Nokia will present a recasting of financial results on an unaudited basis for all four quarters of 2018 prior to publishing its Q1 2019 financial report. Note that certain reclassifications will be made in order to reflect the new organizational structure of the company, the most significant of which are: (i) activities related to our cloud core offering will be reclassified from the former Mobile Networks business group and former Global Services reportable segment to the new Nokia Software reportable segment and (ii) activities related to the former Mobile Networks business group and former Global Services reportable segment that are not reclassified to the new Nokia Software reportable segment will be reported together under the new Mobile Access business.

OUTLOOK

We are now providing guidance at the Nokia level, in alignment with how we manage our business. This is also intended to improve comparability with peer companies.



Metric

Full Year 2019 (new)

Full Year 2020

 

Non-IFRS diluted earnings per share

EUR 0.25 - 0.29

EUR 0.37 - 0.42

 

Non-IFRS operating margin

9 - 12%

12 - 16%

 

Recurring free cash flow1

Slightly positive

Clearly positive

 

Annual distribution to shareholders

Over the long term, Nokia targets to deliver an earnings-based growing dividend by distributing approximately 40% to 70% of non-IFRS diluted EPS, taking into account Nokia's cash position and expected cash flow generation. The annual distribution would be paid as quarterly dividends.

1Free cash flow = net cash from operating activities - capital expenditures + proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment and intangible assets - purchase of non-current financial investments + proceeds from sale of non-current financial investments.

Net sales and operating margin for Networks and Nokia Software are expected to be influenced by factors including:

Our expectation that we will outperform our primary addressable market in full year 2019 and over the longer-term, driven by our strategy, which includes competing in 5G more effectively due to our strong end-to-end portfolio, focusing on targeted growth opportunities in attractive adjacent markets and building a strong network agnostic software business. On a constant currency basis, we expect our primary addressable market to be flattish in full year 2019 (this is an update to earlier commentary for growth) and to grow in full year 2020;

The timing of completions and acceptances of certain projects, particularly related to 5G. Based on the evolving readiness of the 5G ecosystem and the staggered nature of 5G rollouts in lead countries, we expect full year 2019 to follow a similar pattern as full year 2018: a soft first half followed by a robust second half, with a particularly weak Q1 (new commentary);
Our expectation that we will improve our R&D productivity and reduce support function costs through the successful execution of our cost savings program;

Potential mergers or acquisitions by our customers;
Our product and regional mix; and
Macroeconomic, industry and competitive dynamics.
Net sales and operating margin for Nokia Technologies is expected to be influenced by factors including:
The timing and value of new and existing patent licensing agreements with smartphone vendors, automotive companies and consumer electronics companies;

Additionally, our outlook is based on the following assumptions:

  • Nokia's recurring free cash flow is expected to improve over the longer-term due to lower cash outflows related to restructuring and network equipment swaps and improved operational results over time;
  • Non-IFRS financial income and expenses to be an expense of approximately EUR 300 million in full year 2019 and over the longer-term;
  • Non-IFRS income taxes at a rate of approximately 28% in full year 2019 and approximately 25% over the longer-term, subject to the absolute level of profits, regional profit mix and changes to our operating model;
  • Cash outflows related to income taxes of approximately EUR 450 million in full year 2019 and over the longer term until our US or Finnish deferred tax assets are fully utilized; and
  • Capital expenditures of approximately EUR 700 million in full year 2019 and approximately EUR 600 million over the longer-term.