Motorola has blamed poor demand for semiconductors for the 15 per cent drop in its first quarter earnings.But its land mobile and cellular products divisions celebrated sales increases of 18 percent and four per cent respectively.
Earnings were $325 milion, compared with $384 million last year. Earnings per share were down to 53 cents, from last year?s figure of 63 cents. Motorola?s land mobile division develops two-way radio systems and is currently acquiring the private mobile business of Robert Bosch of Germany. Europe led the $2.7 billion worth of sales in its cellular products units, followed by the US and China, though sales were sluggish in Japan and Korea.
Sales in its computer group fell by seven per cent with orders being 19 per cent lower than last year.
Robert Growney, president and chief operating officer said: ?While semiconductor sales and orders were lower than first quarter 1996 levels, orders improved from fourth quarter 1996, as the business emerged from last year?s semiconductor industry recession.?
However he warned of further ?financial impact? because of the failed launches of the Iridium satellites last year. The satellites would enable mobile phone users to make calls anywhere in the world, but the launch has been beset by technical difficulties. Morotorola Satellite Communications Group is the prime contractor for the Iridium system.
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