Alcatel-Lucent (AL) posted a narrower loss in the third quarter as it saw 7 percent growth in its year-on-year revenue.

The French telecoms equipment maker's performance over the three months to September showed revenue jumping to €3,668 million.

The Paris-based firm also announced a gross margin boost of five percent, primarily fuelled by a better offering from its IP routing, terrestrial optics and ultra-broadband access units. 

AL's robust three-month commercial showing saw new contracts reported in every main region: Europe, the United States and Asia, notably in Fixed and Mobile Access.

It hit €84 million of fixed costs savings in the quarter, bringing year-to-date overall fixed costs savings to €259 million, with notably an ongoing fall in selling, general and administrative expenses.

Both savings helped towards a positive adjusted quarterly operating income of €116 million.

Adjusted operating income grew by over €360 million during the opening nine months of 2013, as compared to the same timespan in 2012.

Free cash flow hit €218 million, a rise of €148 million compared to last year's third quarter.

Higher adjusted operating income was partly balanced by a negative change in working capital, reflecting largely a rise in inventories before a big network roll-out.

AL said it anticipates business in the final quarter of the year to be fuelled by robust seasonal activity.

It also expects to better the high end of the €250-300 million in fixed costs savings for the full year planned under the Shift Plan, the firm's restructuring programme.

Michel Combes, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, speaking about the third quarter results, said: “We are seeing the first positive signs of our new operating model in our day-to-day business and are encouraged by the substantial progress in the Shift Plan key metrics.”

He said the company remains “fully focused on execution to leverage the momentum we are building”.

In early October, Alcatel-Lucent announced that it would be cutting 10,000 jobs worldwide in order to save €1 billion

 

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