Ericsson profits surge

Swedish mobile phone giant Ericsson said on Friday it made a net profit in 2006 of 26.3 billion kronor, up 8.2 percent on the previous year, thanks to acquisitions and strong sales.

Turnover rose 17 percent to 177.8 billion kronor, from 151.8 billion a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Sales in the fourth quarter of 2006 alone were 53.7 billion, a 17.5-percent increase on the same quarter in 2005.

“We have concluded another successful year and see continued opportunities to outpace the market,” chief executive Henric Svanberg said in the statement.

Svanberg said the company was “well positioned for 2007”, noting that costs had risen more slowly than sales.

“With our leading positions in mobile networks and professional services, substantial investments in next-generation IP networks and multimedia, we have the platform to continue to capture market share and drive the industry forward,” he said.

Ericsson said it expected growth of 4.0 to 6.0 percent in its main market, that of third generation mobile phone networks (GSM/WCDMA). Previously it had forecast only “moderate” growth in this market, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the world mobile phone network.