Alcatel has announced a rise in fourth-quarter revenues by almost a third, buoyed up by strong demand for high-speed internet and mobile comms equipment.
Chief executive Serge Tchuruk said that the company had broken even in terms of operational costs for the first time in more than 12 months.
The sales growth exceeded the Paris-based company's previous estimates. Tchuruk had predicted a modest 20 per cent sales increase from the third quarter.
Later today Alcatel, Europe's largest telecoms equipment maker, is expected to detail cost cutting measures which it hopes will return the firm to profitability, despite continuing soft market conditions.
The company is slashing its workforce from 99,000 at the end of 2001, to 60,000 by the end of this year.
Alcatel said in a statement that the cost cuts were "proceeding well in line with plans".
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