Ericsson's net profit up 52%

Ericsson's fourth-quarter net profit rose 52 percent to 8.54 billion kronor ($1.1 billion), pushed by strong sales in North America and emerging markets. The wireless network maker said sales increased 16 percent to 45.7 billion kronor. Analysts had forecasted a net profit of 7.15 billion kronor and predicted sales of 43.9 billion kronor. The company's revenue growth enjoyed an 82 percent rise in its North American market, a continuation of its upward climb following its 2004 winning bid to upgrade Cingular Wireless' network to 3G. In December the company also scored a big deal with U.K. carrier 3 to manage the operator's network. Insiders say when Alcatel's fourth-quarter figures drop, they will also show increased net profits, but more in the range of 12 percent year-over-year. Look for it Thursday.

For more on Ericsson's Q4:
- take a look at this article from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)

PLUS: Ericsson CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg gives Forbes the low-down on the year ahead. Article