Alcatel: Growth predicted

Ben Verwaayen, chief executive of Alcatel-Lucent, said he expected the telecoms sector to return to low single-digit growth in 2010 and that the company was still on target to reach break-even at the end of the year.

His assurances come despite the fact that the Franco-American telecoms equipment maker reported a 9.3 per cent fall in revenues to E3.68 billion ($5.5bn) for the third quarter. Net losses deepened to E182 million from E40 million for Alcatel-Lucent in the same period last year.

To achieve the forecast break-even at adjusted operating level, the company will need to make operating profits of about E360 million in the fourth quarter compared with an E11 million loss in the three months to the end of September. Verwaayen said growth was being led by the US and China and by the newer sectors of telecommunications, such as next-generation mobile networks and high-speed broadband.