Ericsson Reports Third Quarter Results 2018

Ericsson Reports Third Quarter Results 2018

PR Newswire

STOCKHOLM, October 18, 2018

STOCKHOLM, October 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

Third quarter highlights   

                                     Q3     Q3     YoY     Q2      QoQ  9 months   9 months
    SEK b.                         2018   2017  change   2018   change      2018       2017
    Net sales                      53.8   49.4     9%    49.8       8%     147.0      147.5
    Sales growth adj. for
    comparable units and
    currency                          -      -     1%       -      7%          -          -
    Gross margin                  36.5%  26.9%      -   34.8%       -      35.2%      24.0%
    Operating income (loss)         3.2   -3.7      -     0.2       -        3.1      -15.5
    Operating margin               6.0%  -7.4%      -    0.3%       -       2.1%     -10.5%
    Net income (loss)               2.7   -3.5      -    -1.8       -        0.2      -13.9
    EPS diluted, SEK               0.83  -1.09      -   -0.58       -       0.01      -4.31
    EPS (non-IFRS), SEK [1]        1.03  -0.29      -   -0.09       -       1.04      -2.15
    Cash flow from operating
    activities                      2.0    0.0      -     1.4     41%        5.1       -1.6
    Free cash flow excluding M&A
    [2]                             0.7   -0.8      -    -0.2       -        1.3       -5.4
    Net cash, end of period        32.0   24.1    33%    33.1     -3%       32.0       24.1
    Gross margin excluding
    restructuring charges         36.9%  28.5%      -   36.7%       -      36.5%      26.2%
    Operating income (loss)
    excluding restructuring
    charges                         3.8   -0.8      -     2.0     85%        6.7       -9.4
    Operating margin excluding
    restructuring charges          7.0%  -1.7%      -    4.1%       -       4.6%      -6.4%

[1] EPS diluted, excl. amortizations and write-downs of acquired intangible assets, and excluding restructuring charges. Potential ordinary shares are not considered when their conversion to ordinary shares would increase earnings per share.

[2] Free cash flow excluding M&A: See Alternative Performance Measures (APM) at the end of the report. 

Non-IFRS financial measures are reconciled to the most directly reconcilable line items in the financial statements at the end of this report.

Comments from Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) 

"We continue to execute on our focused strategy, tracking well towards our 2020 targets. We see improvements across our businesses resulting in a gross margin[1] of 36.9% (28.5%) and an operating margin[1] of 7.0% (-1.7%). Organic [2] sales growth was 1% for the Group, despite headwind from exited non-strategic contracts.

We continue to invest in our competitive 5G-ready portfolio to enable our customers to efficiently migrate to 5G. Operators around the world plan for launching 5G services, led by North America. The strong customer interest in 5G generates a gradual increase in costs for field trials. We expect the costs to remain on high levels, at least for the coming 12-18 months, and they are included in our 2020 profitability target of at least 10%.

Networks gross margin[1] improved to 41.5% (34.8%) with an organic[2] sales growth of 5%. The strong sales were mainly driven by a continued high activity level primarily in North America. Due to the strong sequential sales increase in the third quarter we expect lower effects from seasonality than normal in the fourth quarter in Networks.

Digital Services gross margin[1] improved to 36.9% (32.0%) YoY, but declined QoQ. We see clear results of our cost-out activities and good progress in large parts of the business. At the same time, provisions related to large digital transformation projects increased in the quarter, explaining the sequential drop in gross margin. We are not satisfied with the development in these digital transformation projects and are thus increasing our efforts to turn them around.

In Managed Services, gross margin[1] improved to 12.9% (-4.0%) supported by efficiency gains and customer contract reviews. We have finalized 40 of the targeted 42 contracts, with an annualized profit improvement of SEK 0.9 b. We are increasing our investments in R&D to reshape the offering based on automation and artificial intelligence. We see strong customer interest in the coming solutions, but sales are so far limited as we are in early stages.

In segment Emerging Business and Other, sales grew by 22% driven by growth in the iconectiv business. We continue to invest in strategic future growth areas such as Internet of Things (IoT) and saw increasing momentum with one important customer win with our connectivity platform solutions in the quarter. As parts of the portfolio in Emerging Business are in an early phase, sales are so far limited. We will remain disciplined in our investments in Emerging Business by tracking each venture against delivery milestones.

Even though the cost reduction program, announced in July 2017, has been completed, we continue our efforts to drive efficiency and cost reductions to further increase competitiveness. Our estimate for restructuring charges of SEK 5-7 b. for the full year remains. Free cash flow excluding M&A improved to SEK 0.7 (-0.8) b. and our cash position remains strong. Our work to further strengthen the balance sheet continues.

As previously disclosed, we have been voluntarily cooperating since 2013 with an investigation by the SEC and, since 2015, with an investigation by the DOJ into Ericsson's compliance with the U.S. FCPA. While we cannot comment in detail we can provide the following update on the process. We have identified facts that are relevant to the investigations and these facts have been shared with the authorities. We continue to cooperate with the SEC and the DOJ and are engaged in discussions with them to find a resolution. While the length of these discussions cannot be determined, based on the facts that we have shared with the authorities, we believe that the resolution of these matters will likely result in monetary and other measures, the magnitude of which cannot be estimated currently but may be material. We continue our efforts to improve on our compliance program. See further details in "Other information".

There is strong momentum in the global 5G market with lead markets moving forward. The global radio access market is recovering from several years of negative growth and our investments in R&D have positioned us well to benefit from this development. More work remains, however, to get all parts of the business to a satisfactory performance level. We remain confident in reaching our long-term target of at least 12% operating margin beyond 2020."

Börje Ekholm

President and CEO

[1] Excluding restructuring charges

[2] Organic sales growth: Sales adjusted for comparable units and currency

Planning assumptions going forward 

Market related                                                                                                                                 

Currency exposure                                            

Ericsson related 2018; Sales 

Ericsson related 2018; Operating expenses 

Ericsson related 2018; Other 

                     Q3 2018     Q4 2018     Q4 2017   FY 2017      FY 2018     FY 2019
     SEK b.            Actual    Estimate     Actual     Actual     Estimate    Estimate
    Cost of sales       -0.2        -0.1       -0.8       -2.6         -0.7
    R&D expenses        -0.5        -0.5       -0.6       -0.3         -1.7
    Total impact        -0.7        -0.6       -1.4       -2.9         -2.4    -1 to -2


You find the complete report with tables in the PDF or by following this link or on

The company will hold a press briefing, which will also be available through a live webcast, starting at 09.00 CEST on October 18, 2018 at Ericsson Studio, Grönlandsgatan 8, Kista, Sweden. A conference call for analysts, investors and media will begin at 14.00 (CEST).

Live webcast of the briefing and conference call details, as well as supporting slides, will be available at and 

This information is information that Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out above, at 07:30 CEST on October 18, 2018. 

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