Weak phone sales puts Motorola into red

Motorola slumped into the red in 2007, showing the disastrous effects of its slide in the handset market, the company's full-year results have revealed.

The US electronics firm posted a $49 million loss on $36.6 billion full-year revenue. That compares with a $3.7 billion profit on revenue of $42.8 billion in 2006.

Mobile handset sales slid 38% in the last quarter over 2006, and CEO Greg Brown admitted that "the recovery will take longer than expected."

The mobile device unit made an operating loss of $388 million, compared with operating earnings of $341 million in final quarter of 2006. Motorola shipped 409 million devices for the year.

It recorded a loss per share on continuing operations of $0.05 and has forecast a similar result for the first quarter of 2008.

Brown said the company was focused on rationalizing Motorola's cost structure and "working to get Mobile Devices back on track".

A bright spot was the performance of the enterprise mobility group, boosted by the acquisition of Symbol. It recorded sales of $7.7 billion, up 43% for the year, and operating earnings of $1.2 billion.