The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant Eric­s­son beats mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tions in 2015, with ris­ing rev­enues in newly de­vel­oped busi­ness lines, much low­ered op­er­a­tional costs, and sta­ble in­come streams from pa­tents li­cens­ing deals. Mean­while, the ma­jor tele­com ven­dor sus­tained sales in its core busi­ness of net­works, ser­vices and sup­port so­lu­tions, al­though Eric­s­son has seen in­creas­ingly fiercer com­pe­ti­tion from China's Huawei Tech­nolo­gies and Nokia, which has just ac­quired and merged with Al­ca­tel-Lu­cent.

Hans Vest­berg, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and pres­i­dent of Eric­s­son, told re­porters in Swe­den on Wed­nes­day: "Our fo­cus in 2016 will be put on the core busi­ness, tar­geted growth ar­eas and cost and ef­fi­ciency pro­gram. While mar­ket con­di­tions re­main chal­leng­ing in parts of the world, Eric­s­son will work to cap­ture busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties as more mar­kets shift to 4G. At the same time Eric­s­son will work to ex­tend our tech­nol­ogy lead­er­ship in the emerg­ing 5G mar­ket." Re­leas­ing its fourth quar­ter fi­nan­cial re­sults re­port, Eric­s­son raked in 13.7 bil­lion Swedish crowns of net profit in 2015, which rose 23.5 per­cent year-on-year, on a gross busi­ness turnover of 246.9 bil­lion crowns. Net sales for the pre­vi­ous year were 228 bil­lion crowns. The per­for­mance beats most an­a­lysts' ex­pec­ta­tions.

Op­er­at­ing in­come, ex­clud­ing re­struc­tur­ing charges, in­creased to 26.8 bil­lion crowns, with im­prove­ments in all busi­ness seg­ments, the com­pany said in a state­ment. The ven­dor re­ported a par­tic­u­larly rosy fourth quar­ter num­bers, with op­er­at­ing mar­gin hit­ting 15.1 per­cent com­pared to 9.3 per­cent a year ago. Its fourth quar­ter net in­come reached 7.0 bil­lion crowns, ris­ing 68 per­cent year on year, mainly thanks to the set­tling of a ma­jor pa­tents dis­pute with Ap­ple fol­low­ing long ne­go­ti­a­tions, and the re­sign­ing of an IPR cross-li­cens­ing deal with Huawei in late 2015. Com­ment­ing on its IPR pol­icy, CEO Hans Vest­berg said: "Eric­s­son's IPR strat­egy, to gen­er­ate value from our in­vest­ments in re­search and de­vel­op­ment, has been suc­cess­ful, and over the past five years, we have more than tripled our IPR li­cens­ing rev­enues. Af­ter the re­cent an­nounce­ments of two im­por­tant pa­tent li­cense agree­ments, we now have agree­ments with the ma­jor­ity of hand­set sup­pli­ers."

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