STOCKHOLM: Ericsson said Tuesday its sales dipped in the third quarter as the Swedish telecoms giant faced reprisals in China after rival Huawei was barred from selling its equipment in Sweden. China, a major market for Ericsson, accounted for just five percent of the company's turnover in the third quarter, half of what it represented in the same three-month period last year.
The global supply chain crisis also hit sales late in the third quarter, "and such issues will continue to pose a risk", Ericsson said in an earnings statement. The telecom equipment maker's overall sales fell two percent to 56.3 billion kronor ($6.5 billion, 5.6 billion euros).
The company's turnover was impacted by a drop in two key segments, network and digital services sales, in China. But its net profit was better than expected, at 5.8 billion kronor. Ericsson said it started to see initial revenues from 5G contracts, which it said were "driving growth in our core business". Ericsson is in a fierce competition with Finnish neighbour Nokia and China's Huawei to build next-generation 5G networks across the world.
But Ericsson feared repercussions in China after Swedish regulators banned Huawei and another Chinese firm, ZTE, from the country's 5G network in 2020 for security reasons.