Ericsson results miss expectations as North America fails to deliver

Swedish communications giant Ericsson has performed below analysts expectations posting a fall in sales and fourth quarter operating profit. Sales in networks also declined by one per cent in the quarter from the same period a year earlier.

Sales at Ericsson were 67bn krona (£6.2bn) against a forecast of 69.3bn krona. Ericsson's earnings before interest and tax were 9.1bn krona compared to 4.8bn krona in the same quarter a year-ago.

The fall was largely due to weaker sales in North America and Japan, with projects in Russia and China failing to halt the decline. However, revenues were partially boosted by a patent deal with Korea's Samsung.

Hans Vestberg, president and CEO, commented:

Our focus on profitability started to pay off and operating margin for the group gradually improved in 2013, despite significant currency headwind, driven primarily by improvements in Networks and Network Rollout.

The long-term fundamentals in the industry remain attractive and with our ongoing strategic initiatives we are well positioned to continue to support our customers in a transforming ICT market.