Ericsson Q4 earnings soar 52% on increased sales

Wireless equipment maker Ericsson reported that its fourth-quarter earnings grew 52%, boosted by increased sales in North America and a strong growth in services, a report from Associated Press said.

Ericsson reported a net profit for the quarter of 8.5 billion kronor ($1.18 billion), up from 5.6 billion kronor ($737 million) a year earlier. For the year, it reported net profit of 24.3 billion kronor ($3.19 billion).

The earnings came on sales of 45.7 billion kronor ($6.01 billion) for the quarter, a 16 % rise. Full-year sales were 151.8 billion ($19.97 billion), up 15%, the report said.
However, Ericsson's closely watched gross margin for the quarter dropped to 44.2%, from 45.6 % a year earlier, as sales of services, which have lower margins, grew faster than other sales, the report said.

Ericsson's revenue growth in the fourth quarter was driven by an 82% rise in North American sales.

The report further said Ericsson landed one its biggest service deals ever during the quarter, when it signed a contract in December worth more than 15 billion kronor ($1.96 billion) to manage the mobile network of British operator 3.