Ericsson profit plunge as operators turn cautious

STOCKHOLM -- Swedish wireless equipment maker LM Ericsson has posted a 43 percent plunge in third-quarter net profits as operators have grown more cautious about the economic outlook.

Friday's report showed a net profit of 2.18 billion kronor ($325 million), down sharply from the 3.82 billion kronor recorded in the same quarter a year ago.

Sales in the July-September period dwindled to 54.55 billion kronor from 55.52 billion kronor, and the gross margin for the Stockholm-headquartered group shrunk to 30.4 percent from 35 percent.

Ericsson blamed the negative development on the tougher financial environment, saying investors are shifting away from its more lucrative Networks unit and are instead putting their money in its Global Services arm.