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STOCKHOLM Jan 30 (Reuters) - Mobile telecom gear maker Ericsson posted sales and fourth-quarter operating profit below expectations on Thursday and said network projects in China and Russia had not compensated for lower sales in North America and Japan.
Earnings before interest and tax were 9.1 billion Swedish crowns ($1.4 billion) compared to 4.8 billion in the year-ago quarter, excluding the company's joint ventures, missing a mean forecast of 9.9 billion in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Sales at Ericsson, the world number one mobile network equipment maker, were 67.0 billion crowns against a forecast of 69.3 billion. Sales and profit were boosted by a 4.2 billion crowns patent deal with Samsung.
The gross margin was 37.1 percent against a mean forecast of 36.7 percent.
Ericsson proposed a dividend of 3.00 crowns per share, higher than the median forecast of 2.95 crowns per share.
Link to full report: r.reuters.com/ceb56v ($1 = 6.4650 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Sven Nordenstam)