* CEO says to focus on organic growth
* Says no acquisition plans on the radar
* Aims to outpace market growth in traditional segments
(adds details, background)
STOCKHOLM, May 5 (Reuters) - Ericsson, the world’s biggest mobile network gear maker, is determined to grow faster than the market in traditional segments but has no immediate plans for acquisitions, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
Ericsson, which suffered through a sharp contraction in the telecoms industry in the second half of 2009, boosted hopes for an improvement this year on the back of improving profit margins in the first quarter. [ID:nLDE63M04W]
At a capital markets day in Stockholm, Chief Executive Hans Vestberg said the firm was now focused on organic growth and that there was “nothing on the radar screen at the moment” in terms of acquisition opportunities.
Along with rival Nokia Siemens Networks [NSN.UL], Ericsson posted a sharp fall in sales in the first quarter and many analysts forecast meagre growth in its markets in 2010.
However, Ericsson has dramatically reduced its cost base to drive up margins and analysts said the first quarter could mark the low point for the sector.
The firm announced two deals last month that will help to expand its footprint in Asia. Ericsson said it would buy bankrupt Nortel's controlling stake in a network equipment joint venture with LG Electronics 066570.KS. [ID:nTOE63K043]
It also signed up to a strategic partnership with China's Datang Telecom to develop technology that will help it pitch for business with China Mobile 0941.HK, the world's biggest mobile operator. [ID:nLDE63J1ZR]
Sony Ericsson Chief Executive Bert Nordberg said at the capital markets day that the mobile phones joint venture of Ericsson and Japan's Sony Corp 6758.T was sticking to its forecast of "slight growth" in the handset market this year.
Ericsson's other major joint venture, mobile chip maker ST-Ericsson, which it owns jointly with STMicroelectronics STM.PA of France, said at the same event that consolidation was likely to continue in its industry.
“I think consolidation is far from being over in the sector,” ST-Ericsson Chief Executive Gilles Delfassy told a news conference. “It’s inevitable.”
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