Nokia forecast: It's not as bad as you thought

Not exactly good, though

Not exactly good, though

Nokia has issued its much awaited forecast today, and the figures aren't the body-blow some in the industry expected. It sees net sales for the current quarter falling two to six per cent, compared to the two to seven per cent growth the company predicted earlier. Mobile phone sales will grow up to four per cent rather than the five to 10 per cent it had been hoping for. It still sees its market share growing to 38 per cent - close to its own dream of getting to 40 per cent. Before the official announcement Merrill Lynch published a stinging research note, cutting its estimate for Nokia's market share to 35 per cent for 2002. However you slice and dice the figures, Nokia is still under a lot of pressure in its key markets, with Siemens, Motorola and Samsung chasing its handset business hard in Western Europe and the Far East. The networks business will see a 20 to 25 per cent fall for the quarter year-on-year, instead of the five to 10 per cent predicted - not too surprising as mobile networks are still reluctant to invest. Nokia still held to its earnings per share guidance of E0.18 to E0.20, which helped to reassure the markets, which were expecting far worse. Shares were up over 10 per cent on the day.