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Ericsson Races Past 2Q Expectations

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- Wireless equipment maker LM Ericsson on Wednesday reported a strong gain in second-quarter profits, citing growing demand from mobile phone operators for its network devices and payoffs from a cost-cutting spree last year that saw the company trim thousands of jobs.

The world's largest supplier of equipment for wireless phone networks reported a profit of 5.3 billion kronor ($710.1 million), or 0.33 kronor (4 cents) per share, for the April-June period compared with a loss of 2.7 billion kronor, or 0.17 kronor per share, in the same period last year.

Analysts had expected the company to post pretax profits of about 5.5 billion kronor ($736.9 million). Its actual pretax profit was 7.7 billion kronor ($1 billion).

Sales grew 18 percent to 32.6 billion kronor ($4.4 billion), led by the rollouts of third-generation cellular networks throughout Asia, Europe, and parts of North America, the company said.

For the first six months of the year, Ericsson said its net income was 8.3 billion kronor ($1.1 billion), compared with a loss of 7 billion kronor in 2003.

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