Mobile telecom equipment maker Ericsson reported a bigger that expected rise in first-quarter operating earnings on Wednesday, adding that it saw particularly strong growth in North America. Boosted by the performance, the firm also raised its outlook for the global networks market.
The Swedish firm posted an operating profit of 4.9 billion Swedish crowns ($530 million), reversing a 312 million crown loss a year ago, easily topping the mean forecast for a 2.8 billion profit seen in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Speaking to CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Wednesday, CEO Borje Ekholm said strong momentum in the U.S. would help position Ericsson as a top provider in 5G technology.
"The reality is the U.S. market is a leader in 5G, they were the first to launch (it) and for us, our strategy is to work with lead customers in lead markets," he said. "I cannot comment on competitors, but I can say that we are a key participant in the North American market to help operators move into 5G."
Ericsson sells 5G telecom equipment including software and radio network hardware. But according to research firm Dell'Oro Group, the telecom equipment market is dominated by China's Huawei, which has 29% of global market share. While Huawei's market share has gained around 2 percentage points of share annually for the past five years, Ericsson's market share has seen an annual drop of around 1%, Dell'Oro's research found.