Comments from Hans Vestberg, president and CEO
"Sales showed positive development in the quarter with a growth of 2% YoY, despite currency headwind. Sales for comparable units, adjusted for FX and hedging, grew 7%," said Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC).
"The sales increase was primarily driven by Networks and rollout services, following high project activities primarily in Europe and North America. North America remained the strongest region and showed a growth of 23% despite the decline in CDMA. North East Asia had a challenging quarter with lower sales in South Korea, which remains one of the most advanced LTE markets but without parallel 3G deployments as in Q112, continued structural decline in GSM investments in China and FX effects in Japan.
Looking at the areas of portfolio momentum, we see continued good development in Managed Services with 21 new contracts signed during the quarter. Within the Mobile Broadband area, the vendor selection processes for 4G/LTE in Russia and China have been initiated. We also see continued momentum for our SSR routing platform with 12 new contracts in the quarter. Within OSS and BSS demand continued to be strong.
At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona the trends in focus verify our belief that the Networked Society is coming to life. The growth in data traffic and video in the networks drives demand for mobile broadband and OSS and BSS. Other key topics at the MWC were software defined networks, cloud and machine-to-machine communications that will all be part of shaping the industry for the coming years.
Profitability improved YoY, adjusted for the restructuring charges related to the reduction of operations in Sweden concluded in Q1 and last year's gain from the divestment of Sony Ericsson. The improvement is mainly due to higher sales in Networks and a continued reduction in operating expenses, offset by negative operating income in Network Rollout and negative FX effects.
The underlying business mix, with a higher share of coverage projects than capacity projects, continued as anticipated during the quarter. With present visibility of customer demand, and current global economic development, we continue to believe that the underlying business mix will start to gradually shift towards more capacity projects during the second half of 2013.
We continue to execute on our strategy. During the quarter we announced the way forward for our JV ST-Ericsson and in April 2013 we announced our intention to acquire Microsoft's Mediaroom to strengthen our media position.
While macroeconomic and political uncertainty continues in certain regions, the long-term fundamentals in the industry remain attractive and we are well positioned to continue to support our customers in a transforming ICT market," concludes Vestberg.