Ericsson NZ revenues plummet 24%

Company in trials with Chorus for fibre network rollout

Ericsson Communications' revenue in New Zealand has plunged nearly 24% year-on-year, from $61.7 million to a shade over $47 million for the year ended December 2008.

Ericsson's bottom line dipped $1.6 million into the red after recording an after tax profit of $1.5 million in 2007, according to accounts filed with the New Zealand Companies office.

The company reportedly laid off a quarter of its staff around Christmas last year as a result of contracts ending and the loss of a deal to arch-rival Alcatel Lucent.

New Zealand managing director Jeff Travers says 2008 was a quiet year. The company chose to restructure early, taking a charge for that at the end of the period that hit its bottom line.

Other companies waited until early 2009 to restructure, he says.

Travers says Ericsson is fully committed to New Zealand and can play a major role in supportring the government's planned $1.5 billion fibre rollout.

He says Ericsson has taken no position on how that rollout should happen or on the competing proposals.

"We can supply fibre technologies to all regions and whatever operator is chosen," he says.

Travers says his company is currently working with Telecom's network company, Chorus, trialling fibre technologies.

Ericsson has also partnered with Vector in its fibre network rollout.

Despite being the global market leader, Ericsson has been on the outer with the major network operators here for some time. Telecom has had a close relationship with Alcatel Lucent in its network builds while Vodafone partners with Nokia Siemens and Huawei.

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