Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) has grown faster than the market every year since 2003 with an annual growth rate of 12 percent. Telecommunications plays a more important role in improving society and in creating a sustainable and better world, Ericsson's CEO and President Carl-Henric Svanberg told shareholders.


In the last six years, Ericsson has built the world-leading position within mobile networks and services. In 2003, Ericsson's turnover was projected by opinion formers to grow from SEK 117 billion to SEK 130 billion by 2008. In fact, in 2008, Ericsson had a turnover of SEK 209 billion and sales of almost SEK 1 billion per working day.

"We are in the process of building the new IP networks and bringing together today's fixed and mobile networks," said Svanberg. "We're debt-free and by the end of the year we had net cash of SEK 35 billion. We have basically no customer financing and extensive cost reduction activities in place. We are market leaders and at the forefront of technological development. The world is experiencing turbulent times, but Ericsson is strong."

Four billion people have mobile telephony today, but not even 10 percent have mobile broadband. In many parts of the world, the expansion of telecommunications is top of the political agenda. In the US, broadband expansion has been included in the recent stimulus package and in China the biggest telecommunication expansion projects the world has ever seen are underway.

"Mobile broadband is creating opportunities for people to gain access to development and a better life, even in the poorest countries," Svanberg said. "We're now building mobile networks in the UN's Millennium Villages, where the poorest of the poor live. We can already see the huge importance the networks are having on development and that this is good business for operators even in these parts of Africa."

The world economy is expected to increase threefold by 2050. At the same time, governments have a target to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by up to 50 percent during the same period.

"Telecommunications is fundamental to sustainable development," said Svanberg. "To meet our climate targets, we must build a more intelligent society with smarter electricity grids, smarter buildings, offices and transport. We must also find new ways of working. The IT and telecom industries are offering the requirements that are considered able to contribute to reducing carbon-dioxide emissions by 15 to 20 percent. We have a major responsibility. At the same time, there are huge business possibilities here because the challenge that the world faces will demand major investments in technology and telecommunication.

"My confidence about the future is based on communication not just being a basic human need; it is playing an increasingly large role in the development of society. At Ericsson, we will go on working for sustainable development and a world where everyone can communicate with each other. We can only do this by ensuring that we maintain our technology leadership, our market leadership and good profitability."
 
Notes to editors

Ericsson's 2009 annual shareholder meeting took place at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm on April 22 with 1350 shareholders registered. The agenda can be found at: www.ericsson.com/investors. At www.ericsson.com/press, you can also find the press release from the meeting with the shareholders' decisions.

You can find video material from Ericsson at: www.ericsson.com/broadcast_room.

We are also on www.youtube.com/ericssonpress and www.twitter.com/ericssonpress.


Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. The market leader in 2G and 3G mobile technologies, Ericsson supplies communications services and manages networks that serve more than 250 million subscribers. The company's portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, and broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and developers. The Sony Ericsson joint venture provides consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.

Ericsson is advancing its vision of 'communication for all' through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 70,000 employees generated revenue of USD 27 billion (SEK 209 billion) in 2008. Founded in 1876 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on OMX Nordic Exchange Stockholm and NASDAQ.
 
For more information, visit www.ericsson.com or www.ericsson.mobi.


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