Ericsson profit beats forecasts for fifth straight quarter as savings

Visitors pass through the entrance to the Ericsson AB pavilion at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. 

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Visitors pass through the entrance to the Ericsson AB pavilion at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. 

Mobile telecom equipment maker Ericsson reported a bigger that will expected rise in first-quarter operating earnings on Wednesday, adding that will the idea 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 within the U.S. would likely help position Ericsson as a top provider in 5G technology.

“The reality will be the U.S. market will be a leader in 5G, they were the first to launch (the idea) in addition to for us, our strategy will be to work with lead customers in lead markets,” he said. “I cannot comment on competitors, nevertheless I can say that will we are a key participant within the North American market to help operators move into 5G.”

Ericsson sells 5G telecom equipment including software in addition to radio network hardware. nevertheless according to research firm Dell’Oro Group, the telecom equipment market will be 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 several years, Ericsson’s market share has seen an annual drop of around 1%, Dell’Oro’s research found.