Lucent income soars 60 per cent in Q3

Lucent Technologies yesterday reported large increases in its net profit for the third fiscal quarter ended June 30, and credited the results to growth in sales of equipment for next-generation networks to telecommunications carriers.

The networking and telecommunications equipment company's net income increased 60 per cent to $US829 million, up from $518 million in the same quarter of last year, excluding one-time merger-related costs, Lucent announced yesterday.

Lucent's revenues also shot up 22 per cent to $9.3 billion, up from $7.6 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Lucent's merger with Ascend Communications, which brought more data networking technology into its portfolio, was credited with positioning the company to garner a good share of the work of building the next-generation networks, said Lucent's chairman and chief executive officer, Richard McGinn. The merger, first announced in January and recently completed, was worth about $20 billion. Revenues resulting from the Ascend merger reached $543 million in the quarter, excluding $82 million of sales from Ascend to Lucent that were eliminated because of the merger.

Costs related to the Ascend merger were $79 million in the quarter, and including those costs, net income was $750 million for the quarter. One year ago, including one-time charges related to acquisitions, Lucent turned in a loss of $150 million.

Its business outside the US grew 48 per cent compared with the same quarter last year. Lucent did not report how fast its overall sales in the US were growing.

Sales of systems for network operators grew 27 per cent to $6.1 billion. Those revenues were mainly driven by sales of wireless systems, data networking systems for service providers, optical networking systems, switching systems and communications software and services. Sales were strongest to local exchange, wireless and long-distance carriers, Lucent officials said. Within this sector, growth in the US was tiny compared with growth outside the US: revenues increased 15 per cent in the US and 66 per cent elsewhere.

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