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Alcatel-Lucent announces big losses, shares rise

Alcatel Lucent managing director Michel Combes
Alcatel Lucent managing director Michel Combes Reuters/Charles Platiau

French telecom-equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent announced major losses in the first half of this year on Tuesday. But its shares rose thanks to a revamped strategy.

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First-half losses doubled on the same period last year to 885 million euros, compared to 396 million euros for the year to June in 2012.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

The group, which has staggered from crisis to crisis since being formed in a merger, has big debts and paid 108 million euros in interest payments.

It took a restructuring charge of 194 million euros and an asset write-down of 552 million euros.

But its shares jumped 8.77 per cent to 1.74 euros in early trading, as the French market, the Cac-40, rose 0.43 per cent.

In June Alcatel-Lucent announced its “Shift” restructuring programme for 2013-15, explaining that it had reduced its debt to less than 450 million euros to be repaid by 2016.

The new strategy aims to cut fixed costs by one billion euros by 2015 and raise a further one bllion euros from sale of assets.

The company also announced that it would collaborate with US firm Qualcomm Technologies to develop “small-cell” base stations to improve the quality of 3G, 4G and wi-fi network connections.

Qualcomm might also acquire less than 5.0 percent of Alcatel-Lucent, according to Alcatel boss Michel Combes, who said the group might make three to five other such alliances in the next few quarters.

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