Financial

Ericsson to cut Swedish staff as downturn bites

Reuters

Telecoms gear maker Ericsson said on Wednesday it would cut 1,550 staff in Sweden as it looks to drive down costs, with the majority of layoffs coming in its underperforming networks unit.

In the third quarter, Ericsson's (Stockholm, Sweden) core profit fell 42 percent due to slower orders and a shift in business mix to less profitable contracts and the company said it would focus on cost cuts.

It gave no details of how the job cuts would affect annual costs. The company has nearly 18,000 employees in Sweden.

Vodafone tax dispute blocks progress on India-Canada deal

Vodafone’s tax dispute with Indian authorities appears to have upset the signing of a foreign-investment protection deal between India and Canada, according to a report from Reuters.

Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minister, had been expected to sign such a deal while on a trip to India this week, but India’s government is now reviewing the terms of the agreements it has with other countries as a result of the Vodafone (Newbury, UK) dispute.

Kcell to list in London: report

Kazakhstan’s Kcell is planning to list about a quarter of its equity for up to £500 million in London, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The largest mobile-phone operator in Kazakhstan, Kcell (Almaty, Kazakhstan) is majority owned by Scandinavian telecoms group TeliaSonera, which paid $1.5 billion for its stake at the end of 2011 – some 4.6 times Kcell’s projected 2011 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

Non-telecoms interests boost KT Corp earnings

KT Corp reported healthy gains in net income and revenues for the third quarter thanks to the strong performance of its non-telecoms interests.

The operator, which runs South Korea’s biggest fixed-line network and its second-largest mobile-phone operation, reported a 45.6% year-on-year increase in net income, to 372.3 billion won ($341 million), while revenues grew 30.6% to 6,519.4 billion won.

Vodafone New Zealand completes $690 million TelstraClear takeover

Vodafone New Zealand has completed its NZ$840 million ($690 million) takeover of TelstraClear, giving it a fixed-line business to complement its mobile-phone operation and allowing it to better compete with market leader Telecom New Zealand.

The transaction received regulatory approval earlier this week after authorities judged there would be no lessening of competition in fixed-line and broadband markets as a result of the acquisition.

MetroPCS loses 300,000 customers, launches joyn

Third-quarter earnings results from MetroPCS have provoked a mixed reaction, with growth in net income and revenues but a fall in average revenue per user (ARPU) and accelerating customer losses.

Net income for the fifth-biggest mobile-phone operator in the US was $193 million, compared with $69 million during the same period last year, but included a securities settlement of $53 million.

Total revenues grew by 4% to $1.26 billion.

Japan's Softbank plans $8.8 billion in capex this fiscal year

Reuters

Japan's Softbank said on Wednesday it plans 700 billion yen ($8.8 billion) in capital expenditure in the year to next March 31.

Softbank (Tokyo, Japan), which announced this month it would buy a 70 percent stake in Sprint Nextel Corp, the third-largest U.S. carrier, said it plans capex of 550 billion yen ($6.9 billion) in following year to March 2014.

(Reporting by Mari Saito; Editing by Michael Watson)

China Telecom profit drops 8% due to iPhone subsidies

China Telecom reported declining profits for the first nine months of the year as higher costs associated with its launch of the iPhone ate into revenues.

The smallest of China’s three network operators, China Telecom (Beijing, China) boasted a 15.1% increase in operating revenues for the first nine months, to 210 billion yuan ($33.6 billion), compared with the corresponding period of 2011, with take-up of smartphone services fuelling top-line growth.

China's ZTE slumps to quarterly loss, margins bleed

Reuters

ZTE Corp, the world's fourth-biggest maker of mobile phones and fifth-ranked telecommunications equipment manufacturer, reported a $310 million quarterly net loss, its first since listing in Hong Kong in 2004, on shredded margins, project delays and accounting changes in China.

Shenzhen-based ZTE, led by Shi Lirong, had previously warned its quarterly loss could be as much as 2 billion yuan - eight times its first-half profit - triggering a 16 percent drop in its stock price on October 15, a self-imposed 50 percent pay cut by executives, and warnings from Fitch ratings agency.

Ericsson seeks more cost cuts as slowdown bites

Reuters

Telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a 42 percent drop in core profit and promised more cost cuts to protect itself from tough competition and slowing orders.

Telecom gear makers are under stress from price pressures and slower spending by the operators that are their clients, factors that Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) - the world's number one mobile network equipment maker - said would continue in the short term.

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