AT&T spin-off Lucent Technologies praised the Internet for helping it complete its financial recovery but restructuring hampered its former stablemate NCR.
Lucent made $859 million profit in its first quarter, ended 31 December, reversing the $1.02 billion loss that it contributed to AT&T?s results a year ago. The communications equipment company said it made a healthy profit thanks to strong sales of telephone lines for Internet access, fibre optic cables and its chips, which are used in devices such as mobile phones and modems. Lucent?s turnover rose 6.9 per cent to $7.94 billion for the quarter, and the figures were close to the best that analysts had predicted.
But former AT&T computer systems arm NCR, spun off from its parent at the turn of the year, made just $7 million profit, compared to a $305 million loss for the same period last year. Its turnover fell 10 per cent to $2.04 billion, mainly because it stopped selling PCs and servers through some sales channels late last year. The company?s split from AT&T also cost it $27 million and it now relies more heavily on sales of its automated teller and checkout machines.
Chairman Lars Nyberg said the company exceeded its goals in 1996, making "solid operational achievements", but now needs to boost its profit.
AT&T made Lucent independent on 30 September 1996, just before spinning off NCR. Lucent?s figures include its research and development division, Bell Laboratories.
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