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Alcatel-Lucent swings to loss in Q1 on restructuring

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent on Friday recorded a 353 million-euro ($460 million) net loss in the first quarter, compared with a profit of 398 million euros in the same period a year ago, weighed down by restructuring costs.

Costs related to restructuring came to 122 million euros and financial losses hit 152 million euros, the group said in a statement.

The group, which is recovering from several big setbacks since the merger of French Group Alcatel with US business Lucent, also posted an adjusted operating loss of 179 million euros and a negative operating cash-flow of 144 million euros.

Revenues for the first three months of the year rose by 0.6 percent to 3.23 billion euros, however, beating analyst expectations.

Market watchers pointed in particular to strong sales in the United States, but said that although it represented a welcome push to the company's bottom-line figures, it did not fully compensate for the weaker sales reported in other geographical areas.

Sales in Europe fell 10.1 percent to 771 million euros, and in Asia Pacific it dropped by 5.8 percent to 467 million euros. Sales in the rest of the world plunged by 13.3 percent to 443 million euros.

In a telephone conference, chief finance officer Paul Tufano said the company's savings programme -- announced last year and expected to provide 1.25 billion euros in savings by the end of this year with 5,000 job cuts worldwide -- was showing "continuous improvement".

The group's new chief executive Michel Combes said in a statement that he was pleased with the results, saying it reflected "both encouraging trends in the marketplace and good progress with The Performance Programme, for which discipline on execution remains the priority in 2013".

He added, however, that "free cash-flow remains a challenge. Strong focus will be placed on working capital management to reverse some of the negative impact incurred this quarter".

In midday trading, the shares had dipped 2.1 percent to 1.06 euros on the Paris stock exchange down 1.08 percent.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130426/alcatel-lucent-swings-loss-q1-restructuring