Ericsson profits drop as US demand slumps

Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson's profit plunged by over a third in the fourth quarter of 2014, dragged down by falling demand in its key market North America, the company announced on Tuesday.
Profits slumped 35 percent to 4.17 billion kronor (447 million euros, $503 million) in the last three months of 2014 as currency hedge losses further eroded earnings.
Net profit for the full year was down 4 percent to 11.57 billion kronor.
The group said demand slowed particularly towards the end of the year in North America, where telecommunications operators invested at a "slower pace".
Other regions like the Middle East, Europe and Asia however showed "strong sales growth", helping to offset the poor showing in North America.
In the fourth quarter, sales rose by one percent to 67.99 billion kronor, although annual sales slid 2 percent from 
Stocks in the telecoms group fell 2.14 percent at open before recovering by mid-morning. The overall Stockholm market was trading down 0.30 percent.