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Ericsson workers on notice as Q4 profits wiped out

Alex Scroxton

Swedish comms giant Ericsson is to take the axe to jobs across the business after net profit for the last quarter of 2009 plunged a horrifying 92%.

Across the board, Ericsson's Q4 profits fell from 3.89bn SEK this time last year to just 314m SEK (£26.9m) at the end of 2009.

Net sales for comparable units fell 16% year-on-year to 55.6bn SEK, excluding Ericsson Mobile Platforms and the recently acquired Nortel CDMA and LTE business.

The Nortel business contributed sales of 2.7bn SEK duringQ4.

The cost-saving plan initiated this time last year continued to cut a swathe through Ericsson's head count. The firm canned 5,000 during 2009 and today said that 1,500 more were for the chop, including 600 at its loss-making chip unit, ST-Ericsson.

Ericsson president and CEO, Hans Vestberg, said reduced operator spending during 2009 had hit its networks business hardest of all.

However, he went on: "We maintained market shares well in all segments, cash flow was good and our financial position is strong. The services business [particularly in the UK] performed well and our joint ventures remain on track to return to profit."


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