Eurobites: Nokia Plans More Cost Savings

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone/Liberty Global Dutch merger gets go-ahead; VimpelCom Q2 revenues slide 16%; EU swipes left on Tinder.

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has revised its planned cost savings in the light of its second-quarter results, which show net sales down 11% year-on-year to €5.76 billion (US$6.40 billion) and operating profit down 49% to €332 million ($369 million), most of which the vendor attributes to "restructuring and associated charges" linked to the ongoing integration of Alcatel-Lucent. Nokia is now aiming to save €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) in full year 2018, up from the previous cost-savings target of around €900 million ($1 billion). In his earnings statement, Nokia President and CEO Rajeev Suri admitted that "the decline of our topline remains a concern," though he maintained that the company had made "excellent progress in many areas." (See Nokia to Slash Jobs Following AlcaLu Merger.)

    Table 1: Nokia Q2 Net Sales Comparison (€M)

    Q2 2016 Q2 2015 YoY change
    Net sales (non-IFRS) 5,676 6,363 -11%
    Nokia's Networks business 5,228 5,895 -11%
    Ultra Broadband Networks 3,807 4,303 -12%
    IP Networks and Applications 1,421 1,593 -11%
    Nokia Technologies 194 219 -11%
    Group Common and Other 271 254 7%
    Source: Nokia

  • As anticipated, the proposed merger of the respective Dutch operations of Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) and Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) has received the blessing of the European Commission, on condition that Vodafone divests its consumer fixed-line business there. The Commission also rejected a request from the Netherlands to refer the deal to the Dutch competition authority for assessment under Dutch competition law. Vodafone had around 5.13 million mobile subscribers and 73,000 fixed-line customers in the Netherlands in September last year, while Liberty Global's Ziggo B.V. operation served 4.1 million pay-TV customers, with 3.1 million using its broadband service and 2.5 million using its voice service. (See Eurobites: Liberty-Vodafone Dutch Merger Set for EU Approval – Report.)

  • Second-quarter revenues at Russia's VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) declined 16% year-on-year to $2.15 billion, while EBITDA slipped 26% to $795 million, though CEO Jean-Yves Charlier insisted that the results were in line with expectations. The operator largely blames the adverse effects of currency movements for suppressing its reported results. During the quarter VimpelCom entered into a $1 billion software partnership with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) that it hopes will reinvigorate its global infrastructure.

  • On the subject of Ericsson, the Swedish vendor has reached a deal to become the "connectivity partner" of the Ricoh Arena in the English city of Coventry, home to Wasps, one of the country's top rugby union teams. The ten-year deal is intended to provide fans with carrier-grade WiFi connectivity and "value-added services" accessible via a mobile app.

  • Tinder, the dating app that allows those looking for, er, love to smartphone-swipe their way to their heart's desire, has been accused of breaching personal data rules by a European Union lawmaker. As Reuters reports, Marc Tarabella says that the app breaks EU rules because it uses personal data without explicit consent and suffers from a "lack of transparency."

  • Digital detox: Is it really a thing? Well, yes, according to UK regulator Ofcom , which claims that 15 million British Internet users have gone cold turkey, digitally speaking, to strike a better life/screen balance. According to its Communications Market Report 2016, one in three adult Internet users has sought offline sanctuary, with one in ten doing so in the last week alone. Five percent of those surveyed went web-free for up to an entire month, while 16% have purposely visited a destination with no Internet access. After booking it online, no doubt.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • kq4ym 8/18/2016 | 1:21:02 PM
    Re: Digital detox I've tried to at least slow down and not log on as frequently. But the last time I did any tech detox was involuntarily during a hurricane many years ago when my neighborhood was literally off the grid for weeks. Not fun and I missed the phone connections the most.
    kaseyblondene 8/8/2016 | 4:56:15 AM
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    Mitch Wagner 8/4/2016 | 3:54:49 PM
    Re: Digital detox I keep Twitter running single-handedly? That's an enormous responsibility. 
    PaulERainford 8/4/2016 | 12:28:04 PM
    Re: Digital detox You can't, Mitch, you really can't. Twitter will grind to a halt without you.
    Mitch Wagner 8/4/2016 | 12:24:37 PM
    Re: Digital detox I've done occasional Internet fasts. The first time I did it was in 1994. No Internet or touching a computer for our entire honeymoon -- three weeks. 

    I've done it every couple of years since, for much shorter periods. A couple of days or even a week at a time.

    Last time was a year or two ago and I quickly realized that the "no Internet" rule had become impractical. It meant cutting myself off from news, shopping, and communication with friends and family over email and iMessage. It meant vastly limited TV selection, with no Netflix or Amazon Prime. 

    "No Internet" had become like "no electricity." A big deal. That's something people do -- it's called "camping" -- but I didn't want to go that far. 

    So I replaced my Internet fast with a social media fast. No Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, or Reddit for a while. 

    Might be time to do something like that again for a little while. Maybe over Labor Day weekend. Take a long weekend and a break from the noise. 
    PaulERainford 8/4/2016 | 10:19:43 AM
    Digital detox I can see why the idea of a digital detox might be catching on. Our local pub has a chalkboard on the pavement outside detailing its many and varied attractions. Top of the list? Fine ales? Delicious food? Friendly locals? Nope. 'Free WiFi' is the clincher. It's enough to drive a man to drink.
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