Joseph Waring and Fiona Chau
Nokia Siemens CEO Rajeev Suri believes the company has returned to growth and will be able to break even this year.
While the target - announced to journalists and analysts yesterday at the MWC - may seem modest, it's a huge improvement over the last two years.
Suri said that a year ago "we were talking about recession, an industry in retreat and some very tough times for NSN.
“Two years back were at the crossroads -- we had lost ground, our cost base was too high and our roadmap had fallen behind."
He joked, half-heartedly, that in this industry one year can seem like 10.
A year later he claimed the company was outgrowing the market and has increased profitability. He expects overall industry revenues will grow slightly in 2011 and is confident NSN will achieve its target of break even in non-IFRS operating margin this year.
The firm cut its operating loss to €686 million ($926m) in 2010, on flat sales of €12.6 billion, returned to revenue growth in second half of the year, “up 8% year-on-year.”
Suri said the company has emerged from the recession in better shape than when it was founded four years ago. "A crisis can be a positive focus and it helped us to make some difficult decisions."
To get there it has taken a number of steps to strengthen its foundation. These include realigning its regional footprint, with a new focus on higher-margin markets -- the US, Japan and Korea.