* Profit boosted by Ericsson acquisition
* Warns that weak economy hurting sales
* Sales down 16.2 pct from fourth quarter 2008
TORONTO, April 21 (Reuters) - Business communications company Aastra Technologies AAH.TO posted a sharp jump in earnings on Tuesday thanks in part to an acquisition, but warned that the weak economy is hurting its sales.
Aastra said it earned C$14.1 million ($11.4 million), or C$1.02 a share, in the first quarter, ended March 31. That was up from a profit of C$5.3 million, or 33 Canadian cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.
Sales jumped to C$219.3 million in the quarter, from C$140 million a year earlier, thanks largely to Aastra’s purchase of Ericsson’s (ERIC.O) enterprise communications business last year.
However, compared with the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 — which also included the Ericsson deal — Aastra said its sales were down 16.2 percent.
“This sequential decrease is partly due to the seasonality of the business, but it also appears that the current economic crisis has had an impact on the sales results in the quarter,” Aastra said in a statement.
The company released its results after markets closed. During the day, its shares jumped 7.4 percent to close at C$22.75 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
$1=$1.24 Canadian Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Rob Wilson