Ericsson Q3 profit below forecast, sees pressure on sales

STOCKHOLM Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:40am EDT

STOCKHOLM Oct 24 (Reuters) - Mobile telecom gear maker Ericsson posted third-quarter operating profit below expectations on Thursday and said sales were under pressure.

Earnings before interest and tax were 4.2 billion crowns ($658 million) compared to 3.1 billion in the year-ago quarter, including the company's joint ventures, missing a mean forecast of 4.5 billion in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Sales at Ericsson, the world number one mobile network equipment maker, were 53.0 billion crowns against a forecast of 55.1 billion.

"We are currently seeing sales coming under some pressure," CEO Hans Vestberg said, blaming reduced activity in Japan and the maturing of two big projects in the United States.

The gross margin was 32.0 percent against a forecast of 32.9 percent. ($1 = 6.3794 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Sven Nordenstam)

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