Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT counts the cost of sport; Nokia scores patents victory over HTC; Telenor heads in right direction.
Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)'s much-vaunted "Shift Plan" appears to be working, as its third-quarter results show losses have shrunk to €200 million (US$272.7 million), down from €316 million ($431 million) in the year-ago period. Third-quarter revenues were up 1.9 percent year-on-year at €3.66 billion ($4.95 billion). This, as Bloomberg reports, was better than expected, and shares in the vendor rose 14 percent to €2.68 on the Paris exchange. This will all be good news for CEO Michel Combes, but he still faces a tough time ahead implementing his grand projet in the face of fierce opposition from the French labor unions. (See Euronews: AlcaLu CEO Delivers Stark Warning and Alcatel-Lucent to Cut 10,000 Jobs.)
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s fiscal second-quarter results reveal the effects that the operator's massive investment in its paid-for sports channel, BT Sport, has had on its financials. As BT had predicted, its EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) was down 4 percent year-on-year to £1.43 billion ($2.29 billion), while operating costs increased 13 percent. The BT Sport service has attracted more than 2 million subscribers, though some of its offerings have attracted audiences counted in the hundreds rather than the thousands, as this report in The Guardian points out. Overall, BT's second-quarter revenues were flat at £4.49 billion ($7.2 billion). (See BT's Got Balls.)
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has scored a patents victory over High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) in the UK courts, reports Reuters. The case centered on a patent entitled "Modulator structure for a transmitter and a mobile station." Once the sale of its handsets unit to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) goes through, probably early in 2014, Nokia will have to focus on extracting more value from its patents portfolio. (See Nokia Sells Devices Business to Microsoft .)
Data traffic growth at its Asian units helped keep Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN)'s third-quarter financials heading in the right direction, with organic revenue growth of 1 percent year-on-year to 25.95 billion Norwegian kroner ($4.36 billion). Net profits stood at NOK3.91 billion ($657 million), up from NOK3.65 billion ($614 million) in the same period a year ago.
Zain Bahrain has upgraded its network, employing Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) to replace its existing 2G and 3G radio network equipment and adding a dash of 4G with Ericsson's RBS 6000 range of basestations. See this press release for more details.
Mobile network sharing seems to be all the rage: Now, as Reuters reports, Telefonica Czech Republic and T-Mobile Czech Republic a.s. have tied the knot on 2G and 3G. Testing starts next week, with a nationwide rollout due next year if all goes to plan.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading