LONDON --- French communications equipment maker Alcatel has halted the haemorrhaging in its fixed wireline business and is predicting steady growth at the fixed network division from next year as it announced Thursday (Oct 28th) third quarter results slightly ahead of expectations. For the three months ended September, sales were Euro 3.04 billion ($3.85 billion) compared with Euro 2.75 billion ($3.48 billion) for the corresponding period last year, up 11%. Sales were up 3 percent sequentially compared to the second quarter 2004.
Operating profit reached Euro 271 million ($343 million) compared with Euro 172 million ($218 million) in the third quarter of 2003.
Serge Tchuruk, Chairman and CEO described this as a 'solid performance in a very competitive environment'.
" With our third quarter return on sales at around 9 percent our book-to-bill ratio again exceeding 1 in the carrier space, we feel confident of meeting our future targets of double digit profitability, leveraging the growth in revenues and the continued expense containment illustrated by the healthy trend of Q3."
There was a strong rebound in mobile communications sales during the quarter, up 28 percent year-on-year to Euro 894 million, and Alcatel says there are "positive indications for the fourth quarter." Income in the division, however, was flat at Euro 103 million.