Swedish telecommunications giant announced on April 29 that it had boosted its pre-tax profits by 31% in the first quarter of this year to 2.637 billion Kronor (USUSD342 million) compared with Skr 2.020 billion (USD262 million) in the first three months of 1997. Sales turnover was up 25%, to Skr 38.356 billion (USD4.981 billion) from Skr 30.705 billion (USD3.987 billion). However, operating profits were up by only 16%, to Skr 2.869 billion (USD373 million) compared with Skr 2.477 billion (USD322 million) in the same quarter of 1997. Once again, it was the mobile telephone sector, an area in which the Swedish group has established its position as world leader, that generated the bulk of Ericsson's profits, with a 24% advance. Last year, Ericsson had revealed an "historical" 70% increase in pre-tax profits to Skr 17.218 billion (USD2.236 billion). The Swiss group also said it had revised upwards its figure for the number of mobile phone users it expects by the year 2003, to some 830 million, compared with 200 million people at the moment. Ericsson has similar forecasts for Internet users so multimedia data transmission and the continued liberalisation of the telecommunications market should be enough to guarantee sustained growth in the...

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