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Ericsson slips down research ranking

Swedish telecoms equipment company Ericsson has slipped down an international ranking comparing companies' spending on research and development.

The British Department of Trade and Industry’s list put Ericsson at 31st place, estimating its research and development spending for 2006 to be $3 billion. Three years ago, the company was in 19th place.

But Ericsson spokesman Henry Sténson said the estimate was “a touch too low,” but he said he would not give Ericsson’s official figure until the year was out.

“What they’re forgetting is that we’ve actually incorporated Marconi into our portfolio – you can add a few billion from there.”

Sténson said it was also misleading to compare telecoms companies with other sectors.

“We are number one in telecoms. That is the relevant figure. We invest more than twice as much in R&D of telecoms systems as any of our competitors.”

The list was led by Ford, which has a research budget of $8 billion. Pharmaceuticals company Pfizer was in second place.

SWEDEN AND UKRAINE

Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

Swedish network equipment maker Ericsson said Monday that it was suspending all of its Russian operations over the war in Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

The telecom giant already announced in late February that it would stop all deliveries to Russia following Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

“In the light of recent events and of European Union sanctions, the company will now suspend its affected business with customers in Russia indefinitely,” Ericsson said in a statement.

The company added that it was “engaging with customers and partners regarding the indefinite suspension of the affected business.”

“The priority is to focus on the safety and well-being of Ericsson employees in Russia and they will be placed on paid leave,” it said.

READ ALSO: How has Sweden responded to Putin’s war in Ukraine so far?

Hundreds of Western firms ranging from Ikea to Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and McDonald’s have stopped operations in the country since the invasion, with French banking group Societe Generale announcing Monday it was selling its stake in Russia’s Rosbank.

Ericsson has around 600 employees in Russia, and is a “major supplier to the largest operator MTS and the fourth largest operator Tele2,” a company spokeswoman told AFP, adding that together with Ukraine, Russia accounts for less than two percent of revenue.

As a result, the equipment maker said it would record a provision for 900 million Swedish kronor ($95 million, 87 million euros) for the first quarter of 2022 for “impairment of assets and other exceptional costs,” though no staff redundancy costs were included.
Ericsson is due to publish its first quarter earnings on April 14.

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