If you founded a company that grew to be the 3rd biggest in its sector in the country of origin during the first year of operations, you could call that a good start. HMD Global, licensee of the Nokia brand for phones, did that. In just a year, HMD became a major player in Finland’s ICT sector by revenue.
As Finnish medium tivi.fi reports, Finland’s ICT sector’s revenue (to be precise, the revenue of the 250 biggest companies, not the whole industry) increased 3.2% in 2017 to 46.7 billion euros. The revenue growth was 1.4 billion euros, but if you exclude networks gear and solution maker Nokia, also Finland’s biggest ITC Company, the growth is 2.2 billion euros because Nokia saw a revenue decrease in 2017.
The single largest growth factor was HMD Global with its 1.8 billion euros made during last year, being the 3rd biggest tech company by revenue in Finland during 2017. As said, the No.1 company is Nokia with 23.1 billion euros in revenue, while No.2 is Supercell. Supercell is video games company most famous for Clash of Clans. In 2016, Chinese Tencet acquired a majority stake in Supercell.
In 2017, alongside making 1.8 billion euros in revenue, HMD had a net loss of 65 million euros and (just) 650 employees. This year, the Company announced expansion to new markets, investment in manufacturing and R&D facilities, so we can expect the number of employees to grow, just like the revenue because of the increase of sales of Nokia-branded smartphones on a yearly level.
In 2017, HMD Global sold about 70 million phones, of which about 8 to 10 million were smartphones, mainly low end and midrange because of the structure of the 2017 portfolio. In the first half of 2018, according to Counterpoint Research, HMD Global shipped 8.5 million Nokia smartphones. The company announced new midrange and high end devices at MWC2018 like the popular Nokia 7 plus, that surely had a positive impact on the margin.
We also have to be honest and say that HMD couldn’t achieve such results if the company had any other brand than Nokia on its phones. Don’t get me wrong, for such a small company, they are making good phones, but if you look at the huge Nokia legacy, to again compete against Samsung and Apple, they have a long way to go.