Alcatel reduces net losses, debt in second quarter

Alcatel SA cut its net loss in the second quarter by 54 percent year-on-year, as group sales declined 33 percent on a comparable basis, the company reported Thursday.

The Paris telecommunication equipment manufacturer made a net loss for the quarter of €1.44 billion (US$1.43 billion as of June 30, the end of the period being reported), compared to a loss of €3.12 billion in the year-ago period.

Group sales declined to €4.24 billion. In the year-ago period, group sales stood at €6.77 billion, or €6.36 billion restated to reflect changes in the company's structure, including the sale of its DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) modem business in December, its European enterprise and services business in April, and its microelectronics business last month.

The company did succeed in reducing its net debt: At the end of the second quarter, net debt stood at €1.3 billion, down by €4 billion from a year ago.

The outlook for the year is uninspiring. The company sees no market recovery in sight, with sales expected to stay flat for the rest of the year, it said in a statement. However, it expects income from operations to improve during the period.

Alcatel is continuing to invest in research and development, concentrating on enhancing the intelligence of optical, cellular and enterprise networks, the statement said.

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