May 5 (Reuters) - French telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent ALUA.PA reported a bigger-than-expected first-quarter loss on Tuesday. [ID:nL4365142]
Following are comparative first-quarter numbers from the world's three biggest mobile telecom equipment vendors, followed by a summary of the top global players in the sector:
Revenue (in millions of euros)
Q1 '09 Q4 '08 Q1 '08 yr-on-yr
pct change Ericsson (ERICb.ST) 4,691 6,343 4,180 +12 Alcatel-Lucent ALUA.PA 3,598 4,954 3,864 -7 Nokia Siemens [NSN.UL] 2,990 4,338 3,401 -12
Underlying operating profit margins (in percentage points)
Q1 '09 Q4 '08 Q1 '08 Ericsson 9.5 14.6 7.6 Alcatel-Lucent -7.1 6.0 0.9 Nokia Siemens Networks -4.1 5.2 2.4
Key players in the industry:
The Swedish company had a 32-percent market share at the end of 2008, down from recent years but still well ahead of rivals who have focused on integrating their businesses.
Through the 2005 acquisition of fixed-line communications maker Marconi, Ericsson further blurred the lines between the fixed and mobile sectors. Telecom carriers are cutting costs by offering the same services to fixed-line and mobile users.
Ericsson's first-quarter core profit fell more than expected due to weak margins in its key network business but the world's top mobile equipment maker said the global downturn had not hit the mobile network market that much yet. [ID:nLU13920]
NOKIA SIEMENS NETWORKS
The 50-50 venture of Nokia NOK1V.HE and Siemens (SIEGn.DE) started operations in April 2007 and has 23 percent of the market, but is focusing on improving profits and cash flow while fending off Ericsson and China's Huawei.
Last month the venture said it sees the market falling some 10 percent in euro terms in 2009. It had earlier forecast at least a 5 percent decline. [ID:nLG248661]
To boost its market share and get the business back into the black, Nokia Siemens is looking to buy assets from smaller rival Nortel, which has filed for bankruptcy protection. [ID:nLO570558]
The Franco-American group, created in December 2006, had a 14 percent market share at the end of last year. Its history has been dogged by weakening demand, merger-related costs, political infighting and uncertainty over product integration.
The loss-making group replaced its chief executive and chairman last year and new CEO Ben Verwaayen expects to report a net profit during 2010. The firm expects the market to fall 8-12 percent in 2009.
China's top telecoms gearmaker has grabbed 12 percent of the global market and could catch Alcatel-Lucent this year with aggressive pricing and state financial backing.
China's commerce minister said in March both Huawei and cross-town rival ZTE will see 2009 sales expand 30 percent. But the company is secretive and its ties to the state are one of the reasons the U.S. government nixed its plans to buy 3Com Corp COMS.O with Bain Capital last year.
The Canadian vendor fell behind Huawei last year and in the fourth quarter had 6 percent of the market. In January it filed for bankruptcy protection, blaming the economic crisis. Its stronghold is in CDMA technology, which has been popular in the Americas but is fading as the two largest operators there have cut investments, looking to newer, high-speed technologies.
China's second-largest telecom equipment maker shares the same hometown, Shenzhen, in southern China with larger rival Huawei. It also enjoys close ties to local government, which have helped it expand, first in developing markets in Africa and South America, but in recent years also in the more mature European and North American markets. It overtook Motorola MOT.N last year to become the 6th largest mobile gear maker, controlling 5 percent of the market.
Sources: Market share data from dell'Oro.
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by David Holmes)