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Alcatel sees higher sales, still posts loss

PARIS, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent posted higher revenue and a narrower net loss in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, helped by double-digit growth in the highly profitable U.S. market.

Revenue in the third quarter rose 7 percent on a constant currency basis and 1.9 percent on a reported basis to reach 3.67 billion euros ($5.05 billion). It also made a net loss of 200 million euros and had a gross margin of 32.6 percent.

Analysts had expected third-quarter revenue of 3.6 billion euros and a net loss of 139.4 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales in Asia slumped 10 percent in the quarter, while Europe eked out 3 percent growth, the company said on Thursday.

The results follow weak quarters at Sweden's Ericsson and Nokia's NSN equipment unit, which were hit by slower spending by operators finishing superfast mobile buildouts, known as 4G, in North America and Asia.

The French-American group, which is in the midst of laying off 10,000 workers, said it consumed 218 million euros of cash in the quarter.