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Ericsson Shares Surge on Profit Beat

Shares of Ericsson, the mobile telecom equipment maker, rose 8.2 percent on Thursday, making it the best performer on the Euro Stoxx 600 Index, after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings.

Investors cheered Ericsson's higher-than-expected core profit and revenue growth, as the firm begins to look beyond the global downturn.

"Underlying consumer demand seems to be continuing," CEO Hans Vestberg told CNBC in an exclusive interview. "That is most important".

Excluding charges, earnings before interest and tax rose to 4.8 billion Swedish krona ($ 754 million) from 4.1 billion Swedish krona ($644 million) in the year-ago period, beating a Reuters forecast.

However, the company reported a net loss due to an 8 billion Swedish krona ($1.3 billion) writedown for ST-Ericsson, a joint venture between STMicroelectronics and Ericsson.

Casper Hedberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

"During the year, profitability was negatively impacted by operating losses in ST-Ericsson, the ongoing network modernization projects in Europe as well as the underlying business mix, with a higher share of coverage projects than capacity projects," Hans Vestberg, the president and CEO at Ericsson, said in a statement.

"With present visibility of customer demand, and with the current global economic development, underlying business mix is expected to gradually shift towards more capacity projects during the second half of 2013."

Sales at the firm increased 5 percent year-on-year and 23 percent on the previous quarter.

Commenting on the Blackberry 10, launched on Wednesday, Vestberg said: "I have not seen it yet but I think all new devices coming into the market are great for infrastructure companies."

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