Ericsson's woes continue after tough Q3 financial results

James Pearce
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Ericsson saw 6% decline in Q3 sales, with an operating loss of $590m, 37% worse than some analysts had estimated

Ericsson’s tough run of financial results continued as the Swedish vendor underperformed on already low expectations for its third quarter, posting a 6% decline in sales.

Ericsson posted sales of SKr47.8bn ($5.68 billion), with an operating loss of SKr4.8bn ($590 million), the fourth consecutive quarter that it has posted a loss, and 37% worse than analyst estimates.

Ericsson has been under pressure from increased competition from Huawei and Nokia, as well as a fall in spending from telecoms operators. This led the company to launch a significant restructure of its operations, which included cutting 3,000 jobs in the third quarter, although it added 1,100 recruits in research and development roles.

Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm said: “We continue to execute on our focused business strategy. While more remains to be done we are starting to see some encouraging improvements in our performance despite a continued challenging market.”

The fourth quarter also looks set to be challenging for Ericsson, based on its own guidance. The firm said it expects sequential sales increase between the third and fourth quarters will be lower than the 24% it normally experiences, "driven by decreased 4G investment levels in mainland China," which will primarily impact on its networks business.