February 20, 2008 / 11:03 PM / in 10 years

Aastra fourth-quarter profit slips as sales drop

CALGARY, Alberta, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Business communications firm Aastra Technologies Ltd AAH.TO said on Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit slipped 1.6 percent on weaker sales in North America.

Aastra said net income fell to C$12.3 million, or 75 Canadian cents per share, from C$12.5 million, or 74 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2006.

The company said sales fell to C$155.2 million, down 3.5 percent from C$160.8 million.

The cut in revenue came as sales in its North American enterprise communication business slid by C$6 million to C$20.2 million. Its European enterprise communication business posted sales of C$135 million, up slightly from C$134.6 million a year earlier.

The European results were hampered by the impact of the strengthening Canadian dollar, Aastra said.

The company also said it booked a C$1.6 million loss on its investments in asset-backed commercial paper in the fourth quarter and reclassified what had been intended as a short-term investment as long-term.

Aastra posted its results after markets closed on Wednesday. During session, the shares rose C$1.58 to C$29.45.

$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Rob Wilson

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