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No hidden billions in Ericsson

Press release
Feb 19, 2002 11:00 (GMT +00:00)

In the Swedish financial weekly, Veckans Affärer, No. 18, February 18, 2002,
the magazine makes a number of incorrect statements, which we would hereby
like to correct.

  • At the end of 2001, Ericsson had a gross exposure attributable to customer
    credits amounting to SEK 26.4 billion. Of this sum, SEK 8.9 billion was listed
    as receivables in the balance sheet and the remaining SEK 17.5 billion under
    contingent liabilities. About SEK 6.4 billion of these contingent liabilities
    pertain to associated companies. The trend in customer financing has been very
    clearly reported in annual and interim reports, including the amount that is
    off balance sheet.

  • Ericsson has also made the required provisions for risk exposure in all
    customer financing, that is, both credits in the balance sheet and customer
    financing off balance sheet, whereby Ericsson has guaranteed credits.

  • Since the mid-1980s, Ericsson has conducted financial operations with
    Industrivärden and Investor. Ericsson is a minority owner in terms of the
    number of votes in these companies. Industrivärden and Investor are
    part-owners in Ericsson Project Finance AB and AB LM Ericsson Finans. These
    companies are so-called associated companies and are reported in accordance
    with the equity method, which means that Ericsson's ownership share of the
    earnings and of the company's shareholders' equity is included in Ericsson's
    accounts. Other balance items are not included.

  • The aim of the part-owned companies is that Ericsson's principal owners can
    contribute financial expertise and networks. Over the years, the extent of
    this has been extremely limited and the volumes have also gradually declined.

  • The shareholding and voting rights in the associated companies have also
    been clearly reported in the Annual Report.

  • Ericsson's associated companies with financing activities are as follows:

    o AB LM Ericsson Finans, Ericsson Project Finance AB and Ericsson Business
    Finance AB, which manage parts of customer financing off the balance sheet. AB
    LM Ericsson Finans is a credit market company and also handles the leasing of
    Ericsson's company cars and a certain amount of office equipment.

    o Veckans Affärer claims that Ericsson conducted internal transactions aimed
    at improving cash flow prior to the Year-end Report 2001. In the transactions
    that Ericsson implemented during 2001, assets valued at SEK 2.1 billion,
    excluding customer credits, were transferred to external financiers without
    ownership interest in Ericsson. The sale lease-back of test equipment for USD
    743 M was handled as a financial lease and, accordingly, the assets remain on
    Ericsson's balance sheet.

    Ericsson forms the future communications solutions for the mobile Internet and
    broadband through engineering leadership. By offering innovative solutions in
    more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the world's strongest
    communications company.



    Åse Lindskog, Director Media Relations,
    Phone: +46 730-244 872, E-mail:

    Investors and analysts:
    Maria Bernström, Director Investor Relations, Ericsson,
    Phone: +46 70-533 4750, E-mail: