Euronews: Alcatel-Lucent Shifts Into Gear

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

  • DanJones 11/1/2013 | 2:35:57 PM
    Re: ALU Alcalu is one of 3 LTE TDD suppliers for the Sprint Spark overlay yep.
    ^ip4g^ 11/1/2013 | 6:47:08 AM
    Re: ALU there is a new sprint deal coming along with the earnings call, on TD LTE business. SO +ve signs over the existing ones, is good for the business


    There is a new BU head for IMS too?
    DanJones 10/31/2013 | 10:18:35 PM
    Re: Network sharing It might mean different things to Sprint.


    Hesse said on the Q3 call that their LTE flavors are open to any of their MVNOs.
    MarkC73 10/31/2013 | 4:23:08 PM
    Re: ALU There's nothing that can happen that will prove its point to the labor.  For Combes, it's a good thing, because it shows the board and shareholders he's making progress for the company.  But whether the company was doing good or bad, labor will start off with, see, I told you so...  Not saying whether I agree or disagree, just answering the question.
    macster 10/31/2013 | 4:07:30 PM
    BT Sport How do you justify BT Sport? Some have already commented that BT over-estimated, well, estimates.
    macster 10/31/2013 | 4:02:40 PM
    Re: ALU A 10k headcount cull should both reduce cost and improve earnings. 3rd quarter revenue up, but I don't know if you can relate this to the labour issue. How does ALU's revenue figure compare with competitors?
    DOShea 10/31/2013 | 3:55:06 PM
    Network sharing I think Sprint had talked sometime in the last several months about being open to the concept of network sharing, though I don;t think we've heard anything lately from them. Wonder how much potential it has in the U.S. market.
    [email protected] 10/31/2013 | 1:59:34 PM
    Could have been worse... It's only one quarter and it would have made M Combes's life a lot harder if the numbers had been worse than expected. 

    But as NSN has shown, it takes multiple consecutive quarters of improvements to prove anything, but for the time being at least there is some breathing space for the ALU management team.
    FbytF 10/31/2013 | 1:48:25 PM
    Re: ALU Good question but one the labor unions don't care about, its all about protecting jobs with them.  They'll argue its poor management that caused the financial loss not the rank file.
    DOShea 10/31/2013 | 10:26:54 AM
    ALU Does ALU's imrpoved earnings picture prove its point to labor that the company needs to continue cutting, or does it work against that argument?
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