January 31, 2019 / 6:21 AM / 17 days ago

Nokia sees strong 2019 profit

HELSINKI, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Telecom network equipment maker Nokia beat fourth-quarter sales and profit estimate on Thursday and forecast stronger-than-expected 2019 results.

Nokia said its operating profit (non-IFRS) rose 12 percent year-on-year to 1.12 billion euros ($1.29 billion) in the fourth quarter. That came way above analysts’ expectations of 1.056 billion euros in a Reuters poll.

The company has forecast 2019 earnings per share of 0.25-0.29 euros, above analysts’ estimate.

The networks industry - dominated by Nokia, Sweden’s Ericsson and China’s Huawei - has been battered by years of slowing demand since 4G network sales peaked in the middle of the decade. It is now readying for a new cycle of network upgrades, which appears to be kicking in as demand for 5G network rises.

$1 = 0.8693 euros Reporting by Anne Kauranen, Tarmo Virki in Helsinki and Michael Kahn in Prague, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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