Stockholm: Telecoms gear maker Ericsson reported fourth-quarter core operating profit in line with market expectations on Monday and said it had maintained market share in a tough climate.
Last year was difficult for network gear makers as telecoms operators cut back on spending during the global downturn.
Ericsson’s quarterly operating profit, excluding loss-making joint ventures and restructuring costs, was 7.5 billion Swedish crowns ($1 billion), nearly matching forecasts.
“We maintained market shares well in all segments, cash flow was good and our financial position is strong,” Chief executive Hans Vestberg, who recently took the top job at Ericsson, said.
While the improving global economy means the outlook for the network market has brightened, few expect a strong rebound and some analysts believe growth could be delayed until 2011.
Ericsson rival Alcatel-Lucent reckons the market will be flat or grow, at best, 5% in 2010 wile Nokia Siemens Networks predicts no growth.
Ericsson gave no outlook for the current year, but said that during 2009, operators in a number of developing countries had been increasingly cautious with investments.
Markets including China, India and the United States, however, remained strong and the market for professional services -- such as maintaining and running operators networks -- was robust.
Sales were 58.3 billion crowns versus a forecast of 59.8 billion with the company saying its key networks unit had seen sales hit by reduced operator spend in the second half.