Alcatel results fail to please

4 Feb 2005

Equipment manufacturer Alcatel failed to meet analyst expectations for its year end figures, reporting a net income of just EUR40 million in the three months to 31 December 2004, less than a third of the predicted figure. The company blamed investments in winning wireless infrastrucute contracts in developing markets for eroding its gross margin, which slipped to 34.4% from 36% in the same quarter of 2003. Sales for the full year 2004 rose 5.7% to EUR12.3 billion and 10.7% to EUR3.8 billion in the final quarter, outperforming rivals Siemens and Lucent which both reported relatively flattish figures.