PARIS May 9 Alcatel Lucent is focused
on its cost saving and repositioning plan and not on industry
consolidation, its chief executive said in a newspaper interview
after rumours this week of a tie-up with Finland's Nokia
"There's no question of consolidation. There have already
been phases of consolidation among telecoms equipment makers,
just as there have been phases of organic growth," Michel Combes
told Le Figaro in response to a question about the rumours
which lifted Alcatel shares earlier this week.
"Time will tell if other developments are necessary. My
single and unique objective is to stayed focused on execution...
(of the plan) which will allow us to return to the premier
league," he said in a post-results interview.
Combes also came out in favour of allowing more
consolidation in the world of telecom service providers - his
industry's main clients.
He said investment in high-speed Internet depends on having
"powerful" operators. Governments and industry players in France
and elsewhere have called for a relaxation of EU antitrust
policy with regard to the sector.
Alcatel announced a reduced first-quarter net loss earlier
on Friday as it cut costs and trimmed unprofitable contracts.
Combes' plan, put in place last June, is aiming for 10,000
job cuts, 1 billion euros of asset sales, 1 billion euros in
cost cuts, and a repositioning to focus the group on fewer
(Reporting by Andrew Callus; editing by Jason Neely)