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Euronews: Ericsson Q1 Profits Double

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Telia Company and MegaFon start things off in today's trot through the EMEA headlines.

  • Ericsson more than doubled its net profits to 8.8 billion Swedish kronor (US$1.3 billion) in the first quarter of 2012, even though its revenues dipped 4 percent to SEK51 billion ($7.6 billion) due to lower network equipment sales. There are encouraging signs for the vendor, though, as its gross margins are rising and it's seeing improving revenues from its Global Services and Support Systems divisions. (See Ericsson Q1 Profit Rises to SEK8.8B.)

  • Sweden's TeliaSonera is effectively handing control of Russian operator MegaFon over to billionaire Alisher Usmanov by selling 8.2 percent of its 43.8 percent stake to Usmanov for $1.45 billion. Bloomberg reports that shareholders have agreed to sell up to 20 percent of MegaFon in an IPO on the London Stock Exchange. (See TeliaSonera in MegaFon Talks and Euronews: More 4G for Russia.)

  • German labor union Verdi has rejected Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s 3.5 percent pay offer, reports Reuters. Workers at DT's Telekom Deutschland GmbH and T-Systems International GmbH units have been flexing their pay-bargaining muscles by staging strikes. (See Deutsche Telekom CTO Quits.)

  • Nordic mobile operator Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO) has chosen Nokia Networks ' Liquid Core technology to provide the basis for Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The vendor will also modernize Tele2's 3G and GSM networks. (See Tele2 Picks NSN for LTE in the Baltics , NSN Hangs Its Future on the Liquid Net, NSN Dives Into Liquid Net and Tele2 Q4 Sales Grow 8%.)

  • U.K. cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) more than doubled its first-quarter profits to £7 million ($11.2 million). During the period Virgin increased the number of customers subscribing to its TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO)-powered connected TV service by 242,000 to 677,100, while those opting for its "superfast" (30 Mbit/s and above) broadband service grew in number by more than 146,000. (See Virgin Media Q1 Profit Hits £7M , Euronews: Virgin's Big Fat Broadband Boost and Euronews: Virgin Eyes 4G Femto Spectrum.)

  • And, talking of Virgin ... France's Virgin Mobile, which is owned by Omea Telecom , has signed an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) deal with Orange (NYSE: FTE). Under the terms of the contract, Virgin Mobile will use its own core network components and interconnection gear but will use the Orange radio network. (See Virgin Mobile Signs Orange MVNO Deal and Iliad Disrupts the French Mobile Scene .)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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