Paris (AFP) - Telecommunication equipment group Alcatel-Lucent said Thursday it cut net losses by more than half in the second quarter as it battles to rebuild after years of setbacks.
But its shares slid 6.14 percent to 2.661 euros in early trading, while the overall Paris market as measured by the CAC 40 index was down 0.55 percent.
Alcatel-Lucent said its quarterly net loss was 298 million euros ($399 million), down from 885 million euros for the same period last year.
However, it said the improvement largely reflected the fact that the company had taken a big depreciation charge in the second quarter of last year.
By contrast, operating profit rose three-fold to 136 million euros, although sales fell by 4.6 percent to 3.2 billion euros, which the company said reflected the strategy of restructuring activities for managing services.
The group, a leading global provider of equipment to the telecommunications industries, also announced that it intended to float its underwater cable subsidiary Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN).
The gross operating margin, a key measure of basic profitability, was 32.6 percent of sales, reflecting cuts in fixed costs, the group said.
It also reported that under its restructuring strategy called "Plan Shift" launched a year ago it had succeeded in restructuring debt of 2.0 billion euros.
Alcatel-Lucent has experienced years of disappointing restructuring plans since it was formed through the merger of French company Alcatel and US firm Lucent, owing partly to competition from Asia, but high hopes were raised again last year when the group launched yet another initiative under a new chief executive.
- Investment & Company Information