Thursday 12/3/20
TECH GIANT

Sweden's Ericsson returned to profit in third quarter

Over 80% of Ericsson's almost 100,000 employees still working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Swedish telecommunications technology company Ericsson said on Wednesday it returned to profit in the third quarter and sales grew year-on-year, as clients sought non-Chinese options for 5G technology.

Net profit in the quarter was 5.6 billion kronor (540 million euros), compared to a net loss of 6.9 billion kronor a year ago.

Last year's red ink was mainly due to cost provisions of 11.5 billion kronor related to investigations run by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Justice Department over breaches in its business practices.

Sales in the July-to-September period were worth 57.5 billion kronor, up 7% year-on-year when adjusted for currency effects and comparable units.

Ericsson said it had 65 live 5G networks, and demand was growing in North America and China.

Chinese rival

Chinese rival Huawei, which dominates the Chinese domestic market, has experienced headwinds in many markets over allegations that it has close links to China's military and state.

In remarks to Swedish Radio, chief executive Borje Ekholm said that Ericsson's "market share gains were mainly from non-Chinese competitors."

Although Huawei was a rival,  Ericsson was also cooperating with the Chinese tech giant on developing joint standards, he added.

Ekholm said over 80% of Ericsson's almost 100,000 employees were still working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We remain positive on the longer-term outlook for the industry and Ericsson," he said in a statement.

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